Reno, Nev. – Washoe County can improve its business climate by making improvements to K-12 education, by providing more workforce development training, and by increasing the number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) graduates. Those findings were revealed in a survey of 120 business leaders who were asked how they would improve Washoe County’s business climate.
The Reno Business Leader Survey was funded by First Independent Bank, a division of Western Alliance Bank and conducted by WestGroup Research. Surveys were sent to members of The Chamber of Reno, Sparks, Northern Nevada in July of 2016.
The survey found half (50 percent) of business leaders listed the quality and availability of the workforce as the number one business challenge in Washoe County. The education system came in second (38 percent), followed by health care costs (35 percent), employee recruitment/employee retention (30 percent) and local government (24 percent.)
“As a financial institution working hand in hand with the business community, we know a solid education system is essential to attracting new businesses and retaining those already in Washoe County,” said Bob Francl, Executive Vice President Regional Manager First Independent Bank. “To see our business leaders identify potential gaps in education that could impact our business climate going forward warrants our attention and action.”
Asked to define three ways local government could improve the business climate, a majority (59 percent) said improve K-12 public education, followed by instituting a sales tax increase for school renovations and construction (36 percent.) and more community college training and workforce development (28 percent).
The survey found executives optimistic about Northern Nevada’s future. Almost half of respondents (46 percent) were “very confident” company revenue would grow in the coming 12 months, the second largest group (44 percent) were “somewhat confident” of revenue growth.
A majority of respondents noted they would invest in specific areas of their business in the coming months. Most will increase marketing and promotion (58 percent), many will hire additional employees (41 percent), or invest in employee training (39 percent), or data analytics (17 percent.)
Additional survey results can be found here: http://bit.ly/2c5uPy1
About First Independent Bank
First Independent Bank is a division of Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC, the go-to bank for business in its growing markets. Founded in 1999, First Independent Bank offers a full spectrum of deposit, lending, treasury management, international banking and online banking products and services, plus superior service to meet the needs of local businesses. With seven offices in Reno, Sparks, Carson City, and Fallon, along with Western Alliance Bank’s robust national platform of specialized financial services, the banking division is a valued partner for Northern Nevada’s business, real estate, professional, municipal and nonprofit communities. Western Alliance Bank is the primary subsidiary of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bancorporation. With more than $16 billion in assets, Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL) is one of the fastest-growing bank holding companies in the U.S. and recognized as #10 on the Forbes 2016 “Best Banks in America” list. For more information, visit www.firstindependentnv.com.
About WestGroup Research
Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, WestGroup Research is the Southwest’s original and largest full service market research company. Key services include: qualitative research, phone interviewing, web and mobile surveys, intercept surveys and observational and ethnographic research, as well as statistical consulting and interactive group testing. WestGroup has a spacious executive office facility that includes a focus group suite and “mega” qualitative research space as well as a separate 40-station phone bank.