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Maybe diversification of Southern Nevada’s economy away from its reliance on gaming isn’t so bad after all. The region welcomed more than 3,400 new non-gaming jobs last fiscal year, according to figures recently released by the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance.
Among the companies hiring were BarclayCard, R.W. Garcia, and Flower Foods, which rescued the old Hostess facility in Henderson. “We are actively advancing the goals of the strategic imperatives that our board of directors passed,” said Jonas Peterson, chief operating officer of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance.
The nonprofit business organization gathered the job data for fiscal year 2013-2014. The LVGEA said it worked with 36 companies to help them relocate to or expand in Southern Nevada. These companies are expected to invest $209 million in new capital investment in the region and provide a one-year economic impact of $578 million.
Peterson said the LVGEA’s original goal was to attract 1,750 jobs to the region, but that number ballooned to 3,412 jobs. He described the data in the 5-page report as “a lot of good news.”
Peterson told KNPR that job growth nearly tripled in the last fiscal year, which reflects “not only an improving economy, but a community that has come together around a shared economic development strategy.”
Most of the job creation announced by the LVGEA are warehouse and customer service jobs. Jobs with modest hourly wages, but they fall short of the higher wage and skill jobs in health care and other industries that Southern Nevada lacks.
“I would argue, we need to place an emphasis on the quantity of jobs and the quality of jobs,” Peterson told KNPR. “We need a high quantity of jobs right now. If the unemployment rate drops … then the focus our policy should shift at all levels to higher quality of jobs.”
Here is a partial list of the companies the LVGEA assisted last year:
Kareo – a healthcare technology company that is relocating its operations center from Irvine, Calif., to Summerlin. 100 jobs
BarclayCard – the credit card company opened a customer service center in Henderson. 400 jobs
Flower Foods – a food production company that acquired the former Hostess Brands facility in Henderson. 60 jobs
Bodybuilding.com – an online nutrition store opens a 10,000-square-foot warehouse in North Las Vegas. 100 jobs
R.W. Garcia – the manufacturer of tortilla chips plans to open a chip manufacturing facility later this year in Las Vegas. 79 jobs
Jonas Peterson, chief operating officer of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance.