Event Recap: 2017 State of Economic Development and ‘Winning the Jobs War’

by Nicole K. Santero

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On Wednesday, Feb. 1, the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA) held its third-annual State of Economic Development event at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, providing an important look into the progress and future of economic development in Southern Nevada.

At the event, the LVGEA also released its 2016 Annual Report, sharing successes, key metrics and highlights of the past year.

LVGEA President and CEO Jonas Peterson’s presentation on “Winning the Jobs War” can be viewed here.

To watch a replay of the State of Economic Development, click here.

The sold-out breakfast event featured Peterson and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development Executive Director Steve Hill, who gave more than 400 guests insights and outlooks for the state and the region.

Peterson’s presentation took a look at how and why Southern Nevada is ‘winning the jobs war,’ as the past year has seen a tremendous increase in job creation in fields such as automated systems, advanced manufacturing, the water industry and more.

Additionally, when compared to the 50 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the U.S., the Las Vegas region is in the top ten for the fastest growing population, highest college and graduate school enrollment growth and highest average weekly wage growth—which is moving steadily upward, with the current average wage being $23.07 per hour.

In order to continue on these positive trends, Peterson emphasized the necessity of strengthening workforce and education, as well as the importance of building globally competitive transportation systems.

“We’re winning because economic development leadership, at all levels, are delivering results,” said Peterson. “We know it’s more than job creation. It’s about looking into the future and building the new Nevada together.”

Moving forward, $13.9 billion in new capital investment on new projects like Resorts world Las Vegas, a new stadium, Wynn Paradise Park and the Convention Center expansion will drive growth in Southern Nevada.

Hill praised the work of Peterson and the LVGEA team, thanking them for their work in generating leads and wins in their recruiting efforts to continue expanding and bringing new businesses to Southern Nevada.

“A broad cross section of jobs is diversifying our economy, creating stability and additional opportunities, and I want to thank the LVGEA for that,” said Hill.

The LVGEA’s efforts to attract and retain businesses have helped to create approximately 18,000 jobs in the past five years, and in 2016 alone, the number of LVGEA-assisted jobs grew by nearly 5,000 over the previous year. Furthermore, since 2012, the LVGEA has attracted or expanded companies responsible for a total economic impact of $11.13 billion.

To conclude the event, the seven county and municipality economic development representatives—Phil Klevorick, Clark County; Michael Majewski, Boulder City; Barbara Coffee, City of Henderson; Patrick Sinnott, City of Las Vegas; Robert Bilbray, Laughlin Economic Development Corporation; Rachel Dahl, Mesquite and Gina Gavin, City of North Las Vegas—gave an update on their progress and what is affecting economic development in their jurisdictions.

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