Automation replacing unskilled workers

It seems like overnight the entire state went from having almost no jobs in any industry to not having enough workers to fill the jobs available.

Since manufacturing is no exception, companies turn to automation to help fill the gaps.

At the beginning of October 2017, just one job search website had 2,032 manufacturing positions available in Nevada. Nearly half the jobs posted were in the Las Vegas Valley. They ranged in salary from minimum wage to $100,000 per year.

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation(DETR) and Nevada Industry Excellence (NVIE) share a common goal. The common thread that connects these organizations is ensuring Nevada residents find employment and Nevada companies find employees.

Where they differ is in their focus. NVIE receives funding from and is the official representative of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) national network in Nevada. As a program of the Nevada System of Higher Education NVIE’s primary focus is serving industrial companies in Nevada.

According to Terry Culp, deputy director of NVIE, “we are rated, graded and funded based on our own job performance of assisting Nevada companies enhance productivity, increase profitability and improve global competitiveness. Although over the past 13 years we have been responsible for creating or retaining 7,060 jobs, that’s only one measurement of our success.”

In addition to job creation and retention, NVIE is held accountable to their clients for industrial cost savings, sales increases and retention as well as increased investment in the state. This is all measured by a third party independent survey.

Culp said the $1.3 billion positive impact to the Nevada economy over the past 13 years is a source of pride and a trend he intends to continue.

“Some companies struggle to find the right employees for their organization. Once we learn more about their processes and systems, we’re often able to help them implement automation that allows their work force to focus on higher level and more skilled jobs. We often find integrating lean systems to help them eliminate waste improves their productivity and allows them to increase production without increasing the payroll.

“As an added bonus, once we’re working with a company we often find they didn’t realize we have additional services that could help them grow. There have been a number of manufacturers that were surprised to learn of the demand for high-quality American-made products overseas, and the resources we provide that make it easy to export their products.”

There are around 1,900 manufacturers in Nevada and roughly 700 of those employ more than 20 people according to MNI (formerly Manufacturers News Inc.). MNI is a survey based compiler and publisher of industrial directories and databases. Here is a breakdown of Nevada industrial jobs by county, according to the MNI 2017 directory:

• Clark: 32,272

• Washoe: 17,123

• Carson City (Consolidated Municipality) : 3,768

• Elko: 3,230

• Douglas: 2,316

NVIE partners with the state economic development authorities Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, Henderson Development Association, city of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Clark County Economic Development, as well as, Western and Northern Nevada Development Authorities to assist in attracting even more clean manufacturing companies to the state requiring skilled labor.

“Helping companies automate hard-to-fill, unskilled labor jobs enables them to compete better in a global economy,” Clup said.

“Regardless of the product or industry, NVIE has the proven expertise and resource partners to help any manufacturer in Nevada be more productive and more profitable.”

NVIEs hosts educational events throughout the year. For more information, call 800-637-4634 or visit

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