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After celebrating National Manufacturing Day on October 1, we want to highlight the impact of manufacturing in our region and more specifically in Carson City. About 175 manufacturers – large and small – work quietly daily to meet the manufacturing needs of aviation, healthcare, robotics, precision instrumentation, food production and more, employing thousands of people.
When you think of the making of yesteryear, what comes to mind is spitting out fireplaces and insane repetitions. This might be what manufacturing looked like back in your great-grandfather’s days, long before computers and robots, but when you walk through the Carson Industrial Airpark next to Arrowhead Drive or the along Fairview Street you won’t see any smoke or signs of pollution. What is made inside won’t even be obvious.
While there is still piecework done by humans, this is usually not the rule. So much is now computerized, and workers today need to be skilled to operate machines.
This is where our Western Nevada College comes in to train those who wish to pursue careers in new manufacturing requiring CNC operator skills as well as computer operators to operate robotic machines. While robots may have removed some of human labor from a more repetitive type of manufacturing, humans are needed to design, to operate. and repair sensitive machines. And, the pay can be very rewarding.
Although manufacturing ranks fifth in terms of the number of jobs in America, manufacturers are needed to produce the complex materials and machinery for advanced healthcare (# 1), keep shelves stocked in the industry. retail (No. 2), making the tools needed to create excellent restaurant meals and the beds and furniture needed for hotels (No. 3), and creating the computers and specialized equipment to keep those who work in up-to-date high tech and administrative roles (# 4).
Those who live in Carson City may not be aware of the breadth and diversity of our community of manufacturers who ship parts and products around the world, all bearing the “Made in Carson City, Nevada” seal. .
To name a few: Chromalloy and Click Bond are highly specialized manufacturers that supply aircraft parts for commercial and military aircraft. Redco has spent over 70 years producing all types of custom molded rubber products used in some of the most precise healthcare machinery.
The bricks you use in your garden may have been produced by Basalite, a manufacturer controlled almost entirely by robots. CGI, Inc. manufactures advanced products for robotics and automation. Corbin Custom Design assists these throughout the pre-manufacturing design process as well as providing custom engraving and design for custom apparel and promotional products.
Within the food industry, Ganesha Enterprises proudly focuses on making amazing and versatile food products. Their Gold Cardamon Fruitas can be addictive! Nature’s Bakery produces healthy snacks. Starbucks Roasting (in Minden) roasts the coffee everyone dreams of. San Franciscan Roaster creates beautiful coffee roasting machines. This is just the tip of the iceberg!
How did manufacturing come to be in a city known primarily for its state government jobs?
It all started around 1976, when forward-thinking Carson City mayor Gene Scrivner and then city manager Henry Etchemendy decreed that Carson City needed more diverse employment opportunities. They traced 75 one- to four-acre lots around the airport within the 158 acres generously ceded to the city by JohnD Winters to be known as the Airpark Development Project.
Letters were sent to potential manufacturers – mostly from California – offering them an “agreement” to lease acreage at $ 100 per acre for the first 20 years, $ 150 per acre for the next 20 years, and $ 200 per acre. acre for the remaining 20 years. Those who wanted to buy their acreage were also given an agreement that was too good to refuse.
Redco took on the challenge of buying five acres and built a 40,000 square foot building. As Gordon Gagnon, vice president of Redco, says, “We moved all of our operations from Hayward, California, due to the quality of life offered here, the lack of state taxes, and the lack of state taxes. which was then a stable workforce ”.
Even today, there is plenty of room at the Airpark for the new kind of manufacturer that will no doubt be created as we enter the new Net-Zero future of renewable energy and sustainability. One of those new companies already present is Redwood Materials, Inc. which plans to recycle electric car batteries as we plan to drive all electric cars in the future. The company just received $ 50 million from Ford Motor Company to make it happen.
As the Brookings Institute reports, “Advanced manufacturing is essential to the US economy as it is the primary source of innovation and global competitiveness for the United States. This phrase has never been truer than it is today, as we experience our reliance on the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to provide the sophisticated chips to power just about all. Only Santa Clara-based Intel produces chips – for its own products.
As we celebrate our manufacturing community and those who work in this lucrative field, local manufacturers hope today’s students will consider this well-paying career and fill some of the current job shortages. Go here for a list of some of our top manufacturers.
– Ronni Hannaman is the Executive Director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce