IndustryNet Blog

Nevada manufacturing is booming. Here's why.

Posted by IndustryNet on Monday, March 5, 2018

100000197gigfactoryconstructionIndustrial companies in Nevada continue to expand, according to new data collected by IndustryNet, adding more than 1,600 jobs in the past year alone. Altogether, Nevada’s manufacturing workforce has grown by 12% since November 2011, and now accounts for nearly as many jobs as it had prior to the recession.

Reflecting similar gains recorded in other Western states like Colorado and Utah, Nevada’s unique, pro-business environment and solid infrastructure have galvanized the state’s industrial sector, scoring Tesla’s massive new ‘gigafactory” and helping to create jobs for a sixth straight year.

This article will explore how Nevada manufacturing has evolved over the years, delving into city, county, regional, and historical data collected by IndustryNet. We’ll also examine some of the challenges faced by Nevada manufacturers, and take a look at the state’s industrial outlook.

Nevada manufacturing: the year in review

Manufacturing employment in Nevada surged 3% between November 2016 and November 2017, a gain of 1,692 jobs.

This past year’s employment gain was overwhelmingly led by the electronics industry, which skyrocketed 38% as Tesla continued to hire at its newly-opened massive “gigafactory” lithium ion battery production facility in McCarran.

Nevada’s industrial job gains were not limited to the electronics sector, however, with a number of other industries posting healthy gains. Jobs in lumber/wood surged 10%; rubber/plastics grew 7%, while food processing ticked up 2%.

Industrial employment in Las Vegas grew 5% and climbed 4.3% in Sparks. Jobs held steady in Reno and Henderson.

Looking ahead100000197gigfactoryconstruction

The future looks bright for Nevada, which will likely see increased growth as Tesla continues to hire, with the projected number of jobs now expected to reach 10,000 in the coming years – nearly double the number initially reported.

Over this past year, we saw the establishment of Hyperloop One’s manufacturing plant outside of Las Vegas, which will focus on components for a Hyperloop prototype.

In addition, the state approved several new projects, including Sodifel America Corp.’s plans to double the size of its factory in Clark County; the planned expansion of defense contractor U.S. Ordnance’s weapons plant in Reno; and the establishment of Zloop Computer and Electronic Recycling’s new facility in Fernley.

Nevada’s reputation as a great place for industrial companies to do business is not better exemplified than by Tesla’s decision to locate their massive gigafactory in the state, following a four-state bidding war back in 2014.

Nevada boasts one of the best business climates in the nation, and has no inventory tax, no corporate tax or personal income tax. The state has become a prime destination for manufacturers and is known for its top-notch infrastructure. A $365 million infrastructure plan was recently passed by the state legislature, which should further increase the Silver State’s attractiveness.

Infrastructure was among the deciding factors for Tesla’s move to Nevada. An abundance of natural resources was also key, including the active lithium mines needed to produce ion-lithium batteries, as well as the solar resources to help power the massive facility.

hyperloopBut what really won Nevada the gigafactory was the $1.25 billion in tax credits the Silver State offered Tesla to locate its $5 billion battery plant outside of Reno– the largest incentive packege ever offered by the state.

And although Nevada made Tesla an exceptional deal, the state has a clear focus on fostering economic development, benefiting manufacturers large and small. Nevada offers an array of incentive programs, including the Silver State Work Program which provides financial incentives for hiring and training Nevada workers, as well as an abundance of abatement programs.

Start-ups are also finding Nevada a great place to call home, with Inc. Magazine calling Nevada the nation’s best state to start a business, based on its business incentives and low cost of living. The state’s Global Trade and Investment program helps manufacturers expand to international markets, especially those in its all-important mining sector.

However, Nevada lags far behind other states in terms of its education systems – ranking dead last in CNBC best states for business list in the education category. As a result, many manufacturers are struggling to find skilled workers, espeically in light of rapid advancements in manufacturing technology.

Next, we’ll take a look at the rise of Nevada’s industrial sector in the years following the recession, highlighting some of the major developments tracked by IndustryNet.

A look back at Nevada's rise to manufacturing superstardom


A decade ago, Nevada industrial companies employed 61,058 in the state. Today, that number stands at 58,617 -- just a few thousand jobs short of the state’s pre-recession industrial employment levels.

Nevada was hit hard during the recession, shedding 7,300 jobs between 2007 and 2010, representing a 12% decline in the state’s workforce.

Between 2010 and 2011, however, losses began to slow, with the state shedding half the number of jobs it had in the previous survey year. Sectors related to the housing industry continued to lose jobs, with lumber/wood down 37% and stone/clay/glass down 15.6%, but these losses were offset by significant gains in transportation equipment (+9%); chemicals (+8.6%) and primary metals (+6%).

That year we saw the opening of an ACH Foam Technologies polystyrene plant in McCarran, while Alaskan gun manufacturer Wild West Guns established a new plant in Las Vegas. Nevada was on the forefront of growth in the renewable energy sector, with solar array manufacturer Amoniex establishing a new manufacturing facility in North Las Vegas.


This was Nevada’s first year of manufacturing job gains since the recession, with the state’s industrial workforce growing 2.2% between November 2011 and November 2012.

Gains were led by metal mining, which surged by 10.2%, while electronics, chemicals; and industrial machinery all posted significant increases.

Fallout from the housing sector continued to plague the state’s industrial sector, with jobs in lumber/wood falling 31% following the closure of MasterBrand’s North Las Vegas plant.ConstructionLumber

A number of new manufacturing operations were announced in Nevada, including Dairy Farmers of America’s dry-milk processing facility in Fallon; Germany-based Spreadshirt’s garment plant in Henderson; NOW Foods’ facility in Sparks; Carboline’s industrial coatings factory in Dayton; and a Wasco Skylight location in Reno.

In addition, Great Basin Brewery acquired a new facility in Reno and expanded production, and Rockwood Lithium announced an expansion of its operations in Silver Peak.


Nevada’s industrial employment held steady this year, with strong gains in chemicals; food processing and textiles offset by lingering losses in housing-related sectors. Losses in lumber/wood slowed significantly, down 6.1%; while stone/clay/glass was down 9.7%.

Bright spots for the state included the opening of a new GE printed circuit board assembly plant in Minden; the opening of Ardagh Metal Packaging in Storey County; and the establishment of Carboline’s industrial coatings facility in Dayton.

Some of Nevada’s major industrial cities posted increases in this year, with jobs up 3.1% in Henderson and up 1.6% in Sparks.


Nevada’s manufacturing workforce surged by 3% in this year, led by the state’s mining industry, which grew by 4.2%. Following years of losses stemming from the housing crisis and recession, the state’s industrial sector truly stared to climb back.

As “green” technology took hold across the nation, Nevada became a prime location for many of these burgeoning enterprises. This was the year Tesla announced it would locate its battery plant in the Reno area, bringing an estimated 6,500 jobs to Nevada.

Other bright spots include the opening of Western Lithium’s hectatone-processing plant in Fernley; the establishment of a Dairy Farmers of America milk powder plant in Fallon, and the expansion of VadaTech’s facility in Henderson.

Sectors adding jobs included fabricated metals; food processing; medical instruments and transportation equipment. For the first time in several years, we saw a gain in lumber/wood employment, which rose by 4.4%.

The state’s top four cities by number of industrial jobs all saw gains in this years, with Las Vegas jobs up 1%; Reno, up 3.3%; and Sparks, up 6.1%.

Jobs rose a remarkable 13.2% in Henderson after Flowers Baking Co reopened a former Hostess plant.


In this year, Nevada added another 1.4% to its workforce. Gains were led by the fabricated metals sector, which grew by 5% in this year.

Industrial machinery rose a remarkable 18%, while lumber/wood continued to rebound, rising by 12%. We also saw significant increases in primary metals; rubber/plastics; chemicals; and transportation equipment

This was the year electric car maker Faraday Future announced plans to build a factory in the state – though eventually those plans were scrapped.

A number of exciting announcements were made over the survey period, including Boomchicapop’s plans to open a popcorn facility in Reno. Hose Master established a new metal hose production facility in Sparks, and Parker Plastics opened a new facility in North Las Vegas. In addition, expansions were announced by XTreme Manufacturing, LLC in Henderson, and New Millennium in Fallon.

Las Vegas jobs were up 2.4% in this year, and industrial employment in Carson City surged 7.6%.


Nevada manufacturing employment grew at double the rate than reported over the 2014-2015 survey period, climbing 3.2%. In this year, industrial job gains were spread out across multiple sectors, signifying diversity in the strength of the state’s industrial economy.

Job gains were strongest in fabricated metals; primary metals; lumber/wood; stone/clay/glass; paper products; and food processing.

Industrial jobs in Las Vegas surged 3.5%; rose 3% in Henderson; and 1.2% in Sparks.

Next we’ll break down the numbers for Nevada, taking a look at some of the top industries, cities and manufacturing companies in Nevada right now.

Nevada manufacturing: by the numbers

Top 5 Nevada Industries by Employment:

17% Miscellaneous manufacturing industries
12% Fabricated metal products
9% Printing and publishing
9% Industrial machinery and equipment
8% Food and kindred products

Largest Nevada industrial companies by number of jobs

International Game Technology (Reno) - 1,800 employees
Barrick Goldstrike Mines, Inc. (Carlin) - 1,600 employees
Scientific Games Corporation (Las Vegas) - 1,500 employees
Cortez Gold Mines (Crescent Valley) - 1,000 employees
Tesla, Inc. (McCarran) - 1,000 employees

Top Nevada counties for industrial jobs

Clark - 32,743 jobs
Washoe - 18,530 jobs
Consolidated Municipality of Carson City - 3,661 jobs
Elko - 3,327 jobs
Douglas - 2,291 jobs

Top Nevada cities for industrial jobs

Las Vegas - 21,967 jobs
Reno - 10,642 jobs
Sparks - 6,128 jobs
North Las Vegas - 5,093 jobs
Henderson - 4,897 jobs

About this data:

IndustryNet’s team of more than 80 researchers scours hundreds of sources on-and-offline to zero in on every manufacturer in the U.S. Each manufacturer is contacted multiple times annually to ensure its information remains up-to-date and complete. Our state-by-state industrial employment surveys are based on this data, allowing us to compare jobs counts in a given industry, state, region or city from year to year. 

For more information on Nevada manufacturing companies

To access detailed profiles of Nevada’s 1,800 industrial companies and their 5,700 executives, learn more about IndustryNet’s EZ Select database subscription.

Or, to connect with industrial suppliers in Nevada and across the U.S. start your free search on IndustryNet. IndustryNet allows users to search and source more than ten thousand types of products, parts, supplies, and services for free. IndustryNet® lists every U.S. manufacturer plus thousands of wholesalers & distributors and industrial service providers.













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