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‘Building a Stronger Nevada’ Shares Nevada’s New Economic Realities



From Tesla’s Corp’s vision of a sustainable future, to the future of solar energy in Nevada, the ‘Building a Stronger Nevada’ economic development conference provides the critical insight needed to navigate Nevada’s dynamic and changing economy that is both world minded, and locally focused. Network and collaborate with hundreds of connections and listen to top professionals and industry insiders September 20-22, 2016 at the University of Nevada, Reno, Joe Crowley Student Union.  A full schedule and registration forms for the state’s most comprehensive networking and economic development conference are at www.wndd.org.

The conference’s robust multi-track format has something for every aspect of business, industry and community leadership including:

  • Agribusiness
  • Business/Entrepreneurship
  • Economic Development/Vitality
  • Energy
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation/Infrastructure
  • Workforce Development

Highlights of Panels, Institutes and Tours:

The Future of Energy

All new projects require energy. But development is stalled waiting for infrastructure. The public is demanding a clear policy and a new direction for their government. This panel discussion, led by Jon Ralston – Nevada’s leading political observer, will include industry stakeholders who will share their understanding of how policy is formed and how we can improve our current situation.

Lack of Affordable Housing Issues

Tesla’ gigafactory is expected to bring approximately 35,000 new residents to the region over the next 20 years. A low inventory of housing for the projected population has experts predicting a rise in housing prices in Northern Nevada. Could this lead to a lack of affordable housing for Nevada’s workforce?

Sustainable Dryland Agriculture Initiative at UNR:

The session will discuss the ongoing development of the sustainable dryland agriculture program, including projected economic impacts related to production and mitigation, scientific positions being filled, and public private partnerships being built.  Partnerships focus areas cover beef production, agronomy, horticulture, natural resources, and biotechnology.

What Does Our Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Want?

Entrepreneurs can act as a powerful driver for economic activity and vitality. An emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem, with an emerging university involvement, across Nevada is providing uncommon economic development opportunities. In this session, learn about who is helping to support entrepreneurs in Nevada and what those entrepreneurs want and need to help our communities thrive.

Access to Capital – Making Ends Meet:

Properly capitalizing business enterprise can be a challenge, whether you are a city, county, non-profit, or business.  Grants, incentives, loan and non-traditional sources for capital will be discussed during this break-out. Presentations by Small Business Administration, USDA Rural Development, Nevada Department of Business and Industry, VEDC, and Hamilton/Lane.

Bikeable, Walkable, Livable Community

Participants will be transported to the Reno Bike Project in downtown Reno where the bike tour will begin with an overview of what Bikeable, Walkable, Liveable Communities are and what they look like, including the economic benefits associated with communities that plan and build trails for pedestrian and bicycle use. Investing in the improvement of walking and bicycling infrastructure can enhance communities and retail areas and generate more tourist activity.

Tour of Desert Research Institute Laboratory and Applied Innovation Center:

Participants will have a special and unique opportunity to tour the world renowned Desert Research Institute. Presentations will include cutting edge and innovative research such as the Ecologically Controlled Enclosed Lysimeter (Eco CELLs) Laboratory, DRI’s educational programs, involvement in the Native Waters on Arid Lands project and developments in  partnerships related to food and agriculture.

Bridging the Gap: Educators & Employers Creating Pathways for a Viable Workforce

Since our state is now committed to moving towards making advanced manufacturing and technology a bigger sector of Nevada’s economy, a workforce that is capable to meet the employment qualifications must be prepared for a highly dependent industry. A panel of industry leaders and workforce development experts will discuss how they are working to support the development of the workforce

Four keynote speakers are scheduled to present at the conference:

  1. Diarmuid O’Connell, Vice President of Business Development at Tesla Motors, will discuss accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable transport.
  2. Robert Lang, Coauthor of Megapolitan America and Professor of sociology and the Director of Brookings Mountain West at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas to cover economic development, and metropolitan policy.
  3. Dr. Sam Cordes, Purdue University, will present on regional economic development and rural community development.
  4. Brett Kelsey, Intel Security’s Vice President & Chief Technology Officer for the Americas, will disclose technology implementation strategies in government and the private sector.

Two pre-conference workshops are also part of the program on Sept. 20. Supporting Economic Development Through Brownfields Fund and Technical assistance looks at brownfield resources that can help recycle lands for accelerate economic development. The Fundamentals of Economic Development, presented by the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business and University of Economic Development will give attendees an overview of how to fund economic development efforts and to build holistic economic development strategies.

The cost is just $150 and includes opening sessions with keynote speakers, institutes, tours and educational sessions, Exhibit Hall Reception, parking and luncheons for both days. A one-day conference pass is $100.

Building a Stronger Nevada is presented by the Western Nevada Development District, University of Nevada, Reno College of Business, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Center for Business & Economic Research, USDA Rural Development and Nevada Industry Excellence.

For further information, including registration details, log on to www.wndd.org and follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/2016StrongerNevada/


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