LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Building on Nevada’s strengths in solar power and batteries can maximize job growth and give the state a competitive economic edge. That’s according to the Nevada Jobs Project, a new report created in partnership with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and led by the American Jobs Project. The report is funded by The JPB Foundation, the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute, and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society.
“Our research shows that smart policies and a focus on industrial clusters can allow states to become hubs of innovation and job creation in advanced energy industries that dovetail with a state’s own strengths,” said Kate Ringness, program manager for the American Jobs Project.
“For Nevada, this approach could employ an average of over 28,000 people annually in the solar and battery industries over the next 15 years,” Ringness said.
Millions of Americans lost good-paying jobs during the recession, and unfortunately, many of the jobs created during the recovery have been in relatively low-skill, low-income occupations. In contrast, the Nevada Jobs Project proposes innovative strategies and policies designed to create thousands of skilled jobs that pay well for Nevadans today and into the future and informed by principles of competition, local control, and less red tape.
The report recommends innovative strategies to support job creation by capitalizing on growing market opportunities and aligning manufacturing with critical economic system components, including access to capital, innovation ecosystems, and workforce development.
The Nevada Jobs Project finds that:
- In recent years, Nevada spent almost $10 billion annually to import fuel to the state. Nevada can keep this money in state and grow the economy by developing its advanced energy industries.
- Nevada’s solar industry is an ideal mechanism for job growth due to the state’s high solar energy potential and advantage in exporting advanced materials and solar power to meet explosive regional demand.
- Nevada’s solar industry has the opportunity to employ an average of more than 6,200 Nevadans annually over the next 15 years.
- Nevada’s battery industry is ripe for growth with the strong industrial anchor of Tesla’s Gigafactory and existing battery research, education, and workforce training programs.
- The growing battery industry in Nevada could employ up to 22,000 jobs annually over the next 15 years.
“This report emphasizes the importance of looking at the industry as a cluster of integrated systems, including suppliers, innovation ecosystem, workforce development and other aspects,” said Robert F. Boehm, Director of the Center for Energy Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. “Hopefully, the key organizations in Nevada will use this report as a guide to both further develop our renewable energy options and bolster the economic health of the state.”
The American Jobs Project website, which launched this month, features reports on Nevada and nine other states, as well as a Policy Bank detailing best practices and innovative ideas for advanced energy job growth. To learn more, or to download a copy of the Nevada report, visit http://americanjobsproject.us/ajp-state/nevada/.