A high sierra environment, Washoe County benefits from a variety of flora including pine trees
A high sierra environment, Washoe County benefits from a variety of flora including pine trees
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EDAWN President details Tesla impact to Nevada.
Media Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Leuenhagen

Reno, Nevada. Sept. 23, 2014. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014.

Presentation by EDAWN’s President and CEO: Item 8. Mike Kazmierski, President and CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), gave the Washoe County Board of Commissioners a presentation about Nevada’s economy. EDAWN is a non-profit leading the regional charge on attracting and retaining businesses.

Kazmierski said Tesla’s announcement to build a gigafactory in Storey County will be a huge payoff for Nevada. He said Tesla will generate nearly $2 billion in tax revenue over the next 20 years and create 6,500 direct jobs. Studies show Tesla will generate 16,000 more indirect jobs, with 3,000 of those in construction.

"Tesla is a reinforcement of what we've been putting out for the last several years," said Kazmierski. "We are a place of advanced manufacturing. It has moved the needle from a national to international level. We now have credibility and recognition internationally."

Kazmierski said Tesla's announcement changes the economic strategy for our area and called on County Commissioners and all local government officials to work together to discuss ways to rebrand our region and capitalize on Tesla's announcement.

Tesla isn’t the only good economic news Kazmierski brought before the Board Tuesday. He said Nevada’s unemployment rate has been reduced by 50 percent since 2011 and that EDAWN has helped add 2,500 jobs to the area in 2014. The majority of jobs created have been in distribution and manufacturing. The unemployment rate has seen a steady decline in part because 17 companies chose to relocate to western Nevada during the 2013-14 fiscal year. Kazmierski said along with several companies relocating, 14 other businesses expanded in western Nevada.

Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler praised Kazmierski and the EDAWN staff for their hard work in boosting business.

"I really appreciate the entire EDAWN team," said Commissioner Berkbigler (District 1), who also sits on the EDAWN Board representing Washoe County, "You all have done a marvelous job as far as retention and helping businesses relocate and get started in our community."

Board approves agreement between the County and programs to help children: Item 13.

The Board approved an agreement between the County and Action for Child Protection for up to $650,000. The money will be used to train staff, create curriculum and conduct performance assessments, among other things.

A $1.3 million sub-grant agreement between Washoe County and The Children’s Cabinet was also approved to provide funding for case management, assist with the training of staff, facilitate the creation of safety plans, and other activities.

The agreement also includes $225,000 for the Ruth Young Center, which focuses on helping children and families.

“We are moving into the final year of the grant and we look forward to implementing lessons learned so we can better serve the children in our community,” said Washoe County Social Services Interim Director Ken Retterath.

Funding for these programs comes from the Federal Administration for Children and Families as part of the Permanency Innovations Initiative.

TMFPD firefighters recognized for organizing 2014 Kids’ Fire Camp: Item 7. Firefighters from the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District (TMFPD) Local 3895 were recognized for organizing and staffing the first ever Kids' Fire Camp. The camp was held during the first week of July 2014 at Camp WeChMe at Galena Creek Park. The camp was open to boys and girls between the ages of 11-14 who were interested in the fire service. Twenty-nine children attended the inaugural camp to learn CPR, water safety, back country survival, firefighting and rescue techniques.

Washoe County Television produced a feature on the first ever TMFPD Kids' Fire Camp. Click here to watch the video.

Presentation by Northern Nevada DUI Task Force: Item 10.

Christine Adams, the Administrator and Victim Impact Panel Manager for the Northern Nevada DUI Task Force, made a presentation to the Board about the Task Force’s responsibilities and goals for the future.

The Task Force's main goal is education and harm-reduction strategies. Among many other responsibilities, the Task Force helps support RTC Safe Ride Programs throughout the year as well as organizes safe and sober graduation night celebrations at area high schools.

The Task Force also provides information, educational materials, and incentive items to the public and equipment for law enforcement impaired driving counter-measures. The Task Force also enhances awareness to decrease the incidence of impaired driving. In addition, the Task Force oversees the Victim Impact Panel Program. The program is comprised of victims and survivors who want to share their stories with advocate groups, offenders and justice professionals. To learn more about the Northern Nevada DUI Task Force, head to their website.

In October, the Northern Nevada DUI Task Force is moving their Victim Impact Panel from Lawlor Events Center to the Commission Chambers at the Washoe County Complex.

"Thank you guys for the great work you are doing," said Commissioner Vaughn Hartung (District 4). "It's hard to quantify for the community what the Northern Nevada DUI Task Force does because they do so much."

Board welcomes a group of international visitors to Washoe County: Item 4.

The Board of County Commissioners welcomed an overseas delegation from the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Visitors. The International Leadership Program seeks to provide a broad and balanced range of perspectives. They examine ways to cultivate leadership in young women and encourage them to take action to improve communities through developing skills such as critical thinking, self-awareness, communication, and capacity and team building. The group stopped in Reno before continuing their tour of U.S. cities through Colorado and Louisiana.

Prior to attending the Board meeting, the delegation met with Commissioner Kitty Jung (District 3). Jung said she was honored to host the group and introduce them at the beginning of the Board meeting.“As a woman in a non-traditional role, it’s always my goal to lift women up and watch them succeed locally and internationally.”

Walk to School Day: Item 5. County Commissioners proclaimed Oct. 1, 2014, as International Walk to School Day in Washoe County.

Washoe County Commissioners and County Manager John Slaughter have been invited to walk with students and staff from the County's Partner in Education, Glenn Duncan S.T.E.M Academy the morning of Oct. 1.

Parents driving children to school can account for up to 25 percent of the morning rush hour traffic near local schools. The Board is encouraging citizens to walk or bicycle with their children to school Wednesday, Oct. 1, to give parents and caregivers an opportunity to mentor children about pedestrian and bicycle safety and all the health benefits that come with physical activity.