Last updated on January 23rd, 2018 at 03:33 pm
by Lorrie Griffith/editor–West
“Go west, young man” is how the saying goes. But today, some young men (and women) and older people, too, are doing the opposite and going east, according to a Dec. 3 article in the Los Angeles Times. They are leaving Southern California to head to Las Vegas to “find the middle-class life that eluded them,” wrote reporter Steve Lopez, who had sought out people who had left California because of the high cost of living.
Lopez talked to people who were able to buy houses instead of renting, for example, and overall lead a more comfortable lifestyle with the lower cost of living.
The reporter noted that Las Vegas is one of the most popular destinations for those who leave California. “It’s close, it’s a job center, and the cost of living is much cheaper, with plenty of brand-new houses going for between $200,000 and $300,000.”
Lopez also spoke to Jonas R. Peterson, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA), Southern Nevada’s regional development authority, who is one of those transplants. He and his wife and two kids moved to Henderson, Nevada, from Valencia, California, in 2013 for him to lead LVGEA. His job is to bring business to Nevada, a state that has no corporate or personal income tax. Its economy is largely fueled by gaming revenue.
Peterson and the LVGEA apparently are doing their job well, looking at 2017.
“Together with partner organizations, the LVGEA assisted in the expansion and relocation of 36 companies in 2017, projecting the creation of 5,679 total jobs for the region over the next five years.
Of the 36 companies, 66 percent were categorized as manufacturing logistics—“one of the LVGEA’s target industries that were identified early this year,” the organization says.
“By almost all measures, 2017 has been another record-breaking year for economic development in Southern Nevada,” Peterson says. “Our team, with the help from many partners, assisted in the creation of more than 5,500 jobs–a new record for our region. While staying focused on job creation, we also significantly grew our policy, marketing, research, strategy and small business services to deliver even more impact for our residents. Perhaps most importantly, the ‘LVGEA 50’ emerged as the largest business board of its kind in the Silver State, to advance our community and economic development strategy.”
LVGEA will hold its 4th annual State of Economic Development on Jan. 23, offering information on the investments being made in Nevada through economic development and job creation.
In November, it released its updated two-year Action Plan for 2018-19 that “champions a prosperous, diverse and connected regional economy.”
Sprouts to add another store, Raley’s adds Reno delivery
Some new jobs will come in the grocery realm. Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market plans to open a store in the second quarter of this year in Sparks, at 125 Disc Drive. The store joins the eight existing Sprouts stores in Nevada (five in Las Vegas, two in Henderson and one in Reno). The Sparks store is one of 30 stores Sprouts plans to open this year.
Each Sprouts adds about 120 new jobs to the local neighborhood.
“Sprouts’ knowledgeable and friendly team members are the hallmark of our stores,” said Dan Sanders, chief operations officer. “We’re excited to meet our new neighbors…and introduce them to our fresh, natural and organic products at value prices across the store.”
Another grocer with stores in Nevada, West Sacramento, California-based Raley’s launched same-day grocery delivery service in Reno in December. It was the third market rollout of Raley’s eCart e-commerce platform. Reno zip codes that can get same-day delivery include 89503, 89512, 89431, 89523, 89509, 89502, 89519, 89511 and 89521.
Raley’s says its investment in e-commerce shows it wants to make grocery shopping more convenient for its customers.
“We know and understand our customers are seeking convenience,” said Deirdre Zimmermann, head of e-commerce and marketing.
Currently, 100 Raley’s, Bel Air Market and Nob Hill Foods stores offer eCart curbside pickup. All customers receive free delivery on their first order.
‘Fresh’ business for the state
In early December, Fresh Farms of America opened its first operation—Vegas Fresh Farms—in the Las Vegas market. The indoor farm operation was on track to serve and sell locally grown, fresh-harvested daily produce starting in January.
The Fresh Farms of America brand exclusively utilizes the propriety vertical aeroponic equipment from R&D and equipment manufacturer Indoor Farms of America, also in Las Vegas.
“This new brand of indoor farm operation represents the best in the industry for farm performance, using any metric,” said David Martin, CEO of Indoor Farms of America. “Over the next month (January), we will announce multiple new locations of farms operating under the Fresh Farms of America brand. This brand will quickly become the leading brand of fresh, locally grown produce, accessible by consumers in markets across the U.S. and Canada.
“Consumers want to know where their food is coming from, they want to know it is the best they can serve their families in terms of purity and nutrition, and the Fresh Farms of America brand exemplifies that,” said Martin. “Our produce is grown with no pesticides, no herbicides, is Non-GMO, and is quite frankly, beyond organic.”
The company also is committed to providing “meaningful jobs” 12 months a year to veterans and disadvantaged young adults from the community.