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How To Prepare For The Jobs Coming Soon To Las Vegas

The $1 billion Circa resort in downtown Las Vegas is set to open in late 2020.
Chris Sieroty/Nevada Public Radio

The $1 billion Circa resort in downtown Las Vegas is set to open in late 2020.

When the first whistle blows at Allegiant Stadium next football season, it will kick off a string of major new developments in Las Vegas.

In 2020 and 2021, more than $10 billion worth of projects are due to open in the tourist corridor. Besides the $2 billion stadium, coming online are a major expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center, two new resorts, and the MSG Sphere entertainment venue.

A workforce expert said the new jobs will be a mix of traditional Las Vegas service positions and those requiring more technical skills. He said those seeking to move up should start with the basics and build from there.

“There’s always going to be a need for foundational employability skills, specifically referring to critical thinking, ability to read workplace documents, and ability to interpret graphic literacy,” said Ricardo Villalobos, executive director for workforce and economic development for the College of Southern Nevada. “I also see technology skills being a huge influence in these new developments.

Chloe Gersten, communication director for the nonprofit Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, said the ability to interact with technology has grown to be a vital skill among front-line resort workers.

“We are working closely with our employer partners to say, ‘What kinds of systems and software are you bringing into your workplace? What do your workers need to know?’” she said. “ We want to train our students to make sure they’re ready, prepared and they feel technology is an enabler, not a disruptor.”

She cited as an example the need for housekeepers to be able to use tablet computers to receive their work orders, and the academy prepares students to be fluent in the various systems that resorts use.

The new developments are expected to attract new residents to Las Vegas, and the head of the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association said there is large and growing need for residential construction workers.

“We are building homes. The demand is still higher than we can produce,” said Nat Hodgson, CEO of the home-builders group. “I think the bigger thing on the horizon that I’m worried about is the aging workforce. We need to keep our eye on the ball and fill the pipeline now.”

Hodgson said he expects up to a quarter of the home construction workforce to retire by the middle of the next decade. In response, home builders are seeking workers through nontraditional sources.

In Southern Nevada, a group of homeless and at-risk young adults recently completed a basic construction skills course that prepares them for waiting positions on the job site.

The nonprofit HomeAid program, funded by home builders, uses its clients to remodel facilities that provide service to the homeless.

“We’re training them to not be homeless,” Hodgson said. “Let’s give them a hand up and be able to go into the industry and support themselves and their families.”

Ricardo Villalobos, executive director for workforce and economic development, College of Southern Nevada; Chloe Gersten, communication director, Culinary Academy of Las Vegas; Nat Hodgson, CEO, Southern Nevada Home Builders Association


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With deep experience in journalism, politics, and the nonprofit sector, news producer Doug Puppel has built strong connections statewide that benefit the Nevada Public Radio audience.