The Role of Advanced Manufacturing in Northern Nevada’s Development Future
Despite the global pandemic, there are sectors in northern Nevada that are booming. One area, in particular, is seeing a large amount of growth and expansion – advanced manufacturing. Right alongside the revival of advanced manufacturing, and a long-time staple of the region, distribution facilities continue to thrive as well. The demand for this specialized construction is making a comeback, and as Miles Construction celebrates 35 years in business this month, the company remains at the forefront of this resurgence.
Advanced manufacturing is the use of innovative technologies to create products, using automation, computation, software, sensing and other technologies. It has long been a key industry in the region and over the last several years has grown in notoriety thanks to companies like Tesla and others bringing attention to the region. Northern Nevada’s wide-open land, lower workmans’ comp costs and its central location to other Western markets has made it a desirable destination for an economic gold rush for expansions and relocations. It’s such a vital industry here that Western Nevada College created a program to train workers on the skills necessary for a position in advanced manufacturing. The many available jobs in the industry is appealing to laid-off workers and those looking to make a change to an industry where there are more opportunities in our region.
“Advanced manufacturing is not new to northern Nevada, however the pace and the influx we are seeing of new projects takes us back to the early days when things were growing very quickly,” said Cary Richardson, Vice President of Business Development, Miles Construction. “Advanced manufacturing is back and that means that there are businesses that are investing back locally and in the U.S. while they are filling a niche or expanding on operations based on demand. All in all, it’s great news for northern Nevada.”
Miles Construction’s expertise has uniquely positioned the company as the go-to design and build construction firm for advanced manufacturing and distribution facilities. With roots in pre-engineered steel and tilt-up construction, the firm’s experience at large-scale and specialized manufacturing operations puts the company at the heart of the area’s new livelihood. At the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, the preeminent commercial real estate stronghold of the region, Miles constructed Aquametals, Schluter Systems, American Battery Systems, AZZ Galvanizing, Dynamic Isolation Systems, Saginaw Control and Engineering and more.
Today, Miles is working with thyssenkrupp to design and build the company’s new service and manufacturing center at TRI. Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions is one of the few full-range suppliers in the cement and mining industries. The new service center at TRI provides the global company a seamless and more direct way to support its United States and west coast customers. Also in TRI, another manufacturing company has contracted Miles to build their 200,000 square foot facility in 2021.
“When I started Miles Construction we would dream of working on projects that have meaning and that are contributing in a vital way to our area,” said Bill Miles, president, Miles Construction. “Now 35 years later, I can say that dream has become a reality and we haven’t remained stagnate. We’ve continued to grow in our industry as the businesses in our area changed through the years. The work we are able to do now, we didn’t even know existed when we started. Today, we’re leading the way and I couldn’t be prouder.”
These days there’s more technology that needs to be integrated and companies are either switching their operations or are integrating the latest in cutting-edge manufacturing techniques into new builds. The expansion is also increasing beyond the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center and it is no longer the only place to find large-scale manufacturing facilities in our region.
In Fernley, American Battery Technology Company is at the beginning stage of their 98,200 square foot facility with Miles at the helm. This facility will employ more than 50 and is the first of its kind facility to recycle lithium-ion batteries, a much-anticipated project for the booming electric vehicle industry.
In Douglas County, Marson Foods is slated to begin construction in 2021 on their 260,000 square foot manufacturing and distribution facility, with another manufacturing company building an anticipated 200,000 square foot facility nearby. Marson Foods will be producing waffles by the spring of 2022, feeding K-12 school kids around the country from their facility right here in northern Nevada, as well as through their partnership with Feeding America®.
Dayton, located to the northeast of Carson City, is seeing an influx of distribution facilities as well. Webstaurantstore, a 360,000 square foot facility constructed by Miles in 2016, is expanding in 2021 with another facility across the street. This restaurant supply company will occupy more than 900,000 square feet of distribution once its builds are complete.
Back in Reno, Advanced Mask Systems Inc. has contracted with Miles Construction to build their new facility off Trademark Drive where they will be producing N95 masks to be more widely available. This project was fast-tracked by the Miles team in order to help get more N95 masks into the hands of the public during the coronavirus pandemic.
This expansion of economic development across the region is good news for everyone. From increased jobs and taxes to economic stability for the community, Miles is proud to have a hand in helping these companies establish their footprint in northern Nevada.