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After celebrating National Manufacturing Day on October 1st, we would like to shed a bright light on the impact of manufacturing in our region and in Carson City in particular. Approximately 175 manufacturers – large and small – work quietly every day to meet the manufacturing needs of aerospace, healthcare, robotics, precision instrumentation, food production, and more, employing thousands of people.
When you think of the making of yore, you think of chimneys and senseless repetitions. This is what production may have looked like in your great-grandfather’s days before computers and robots, but if you drive through Carson’s Industrial Airpark on Arrowhead Drive or along Fairview Street, you won’t see any smoke or signs of pollution. What is being made inside will not even be apparent.
While there is still patchwork that is done by humans, this is generally not the norm. Much is now computerized and today’s workers need to be qualified to operate the machines.
This is where our Western Nevada College comes in to train those pursuing a career in new manufacturing that requires CNC operator skills as well as computer operators to operate robotic machines. While robots may have taken off some of the human work in the repetitive nature of manufacturing, humans are required to design and operate it. and repair sensitive machines. And the payment can be worthwhile.
Although manufacturing ranks fifth in America in terms of job numbers, it takes manufacturers to produce the materials and complex machinery for modern healthcare (# 1) that fill retail shelves (# 2) ) who make the tools needed to make great meals in restaurants and the beds and furniture for hotels (# 3), and who make computers and the specialized equipment to keep those who are into high tech and Administrative functions are up to date (No. 4).
Those who live in Carson City may not be aware of the size and diversity of our manufacturing community, shipping parts and products around the world, all stamped “Made in Carson City, Nevada”.
To name just a few: Chromalloy and Click Bond are highly specialized manufacturers that offer aircraft parts for commercial and military aircraft. Redco has spent over 70 years making all kinds of custom molded rubber products that are used in some of the most precise healthcare machines.
The stones you use in your garden may have been made by Basalite, a manufacturer almost entirely controlled by robots. CGI, Inc. manufactures advanced products for robotics and automation. Corbin Custom Design helps you through the design process prior to manufacture, offering custom engravings and designs for bespoke clothing and promotional items.
In the food industry, Ganesha Enterprises proudly focuses on making amazing and versatile food products. Your Gold Cardamon Fruitas can be addicting! Nature’s Bakery produces healthy snacks. Starbucks Roasting (in Minden) roasts the coffee everyone longs for. San Franciscan Roaster makes beautiful coffee roasters. That’s just the tip of the iceberg!
How did manufacturing come to be in a city best known for its state government jobs?
It all began around 1976 when the forward-thinking Carson City Mayor Gene Scrivner and then City Manager Henry Etchemendy ordered Carson City to need more employment opportunities. They planned 75 acres of land around the airport on the 158 acres that JohnD Winters had generously advertised to the city as an airpark development project.
Letters were sent to potential manufacturers – mostly from California – offering them a “deal” of space at $ 100 per acre for the first 20 years, $ 150 per acre for the next 20 years and $ 150 per acre for the remaining 20 years Years to lease for $ 200 per acre. Those who wanted to buy their space also received an offer that was too good to refuse.
Redco took up the challenge of buying five acres and built a 40,000 square foot building. As Redco Vice President Gordon Gagnon quoted: “We moved our entire operation from Hayward, California because we had quality of life here, no government taxes, and a stable workforce at the time.”
Even today there is plenty of room in the Airpark for the newer type of manufacturer, which will no doubt emerge when we step into the new net zero future of renewable energies and sustainability. One of those new companies that’s already here is Redwood Materials, Inc., which plans to recycle electric car batteries because we want to drive all electric cars in the future. For this, the company has just received $ 50 million from Ford Motor Company.
As the Brookings Institute reports, “Advanced manufacturing is critical to the US economy as it is the primary source of innovation and global competitiveness for the United States.” how we rely on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to supply the sophisticated chips that power almost everything. Only Intel, based in Santa Clara, produces chips – for their own products.
As we celebrate our manufacturing community and those who work in this lucrative field, local manufacturers hope that today’s students will consider this well-paying career and close some of the current job bottlenecks. Here is a list of our top manufacturers.
– Ronni Hannaman is the executive director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce