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Existing employers get share of spotlight (subscriber content)

By John Seelmeyer
Mike Kazmierski of EDAWN speaking in 2018. Image: Bob Conrad.
Mike Kazmierski of EDAWN speaking in 2018. Image: Bob Conrad.

While high-profile new companies bring lots of jobs to Northern Nevada, economic development executives these days pay equal attention to the job-creation possibilities of companies that are already here.

Mike Kazmierski, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, describes efforts to strengthen the region’s economy as a three-legged stool:

  • Attract new employers.
  • Nurture the growth of existing employers.
  • Encourage entrepreneurs who create new jobs.

Nancy McCormick, who heads business retention and expansion efforts to EDAWN, says her team’s work encompasses a wide range.

“We meet with companies to assist with a variety of issues and make it easier for them to do business and succeed in Northern Nevada,” she says. “We connect them with resources, especially education and workforce development partners, we help to overcome roadblocks, we help to promote their business in the community, we help them to attract talent, and we act as a ‘go-to’ for any questions they may have or programs they may be interested in.”

The EDAWN team also helps existing employers find potential customers or suppliers in the community.

And, because existing companies often go unheralded, EDAWN honors some of the top performers with its annual “Existing Industry Awards.” (This year’s event, with nearly 70 nominees, starts at 5:30 on Oct. 17 at the Grand Sierra Resort.)

McCormick says the awards draw the spotlight to a cornerstone of the Northern Nevada economy.

“Existing primary companies are the foundation of the region’s economy,” she says. “They provide jobs, critical products and services, and generate revenue by exporting products and services and importing wealth into the community.”

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