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Program # of Grants EDA Funds
Economic Adjustment Assistance 1 $350,000
Public Works 1 $1,250,600
Planning 1 $80,000
4 $194,912
Total 7 $1,875,512

During the 1990’s and early 2000’s, the state of Nevada had one of the strongest economies in the nation with an unemployment rate dipping as low as 3.7%. With the onset of the Great Recession (which officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009), however, Nevada proved to be one of the state’s hardest hit by the downturn as unemployment rose to nearly 14%. To address this situation, in 2010, the state of Nevada revamped its state economic development authority into the Governor’s Office on Economic Development (GOED), focusing on regional economic development efforts in the state. The EDA-funded University Center for Economic Development (UCED) at the University of Nevada-Reno has played a critical role in the state’s efforts.

When the Mohave Power Plant closed due to air pollution in the Grand Canyon, the City of Laughlin contacted UCED to help design an effective economic development strategy. UCED used the Area Sector Analysis Process, or ASAP, to help Laughlin formulate economic development goals while also gathering information on the city’s assets and strengths. The ASAP model produced Desirability and Compatibility factors for industries located in Laughlin as well as potential target industries. Desirability measures how well an economic sector meets the goals of the community, while Compatibility measures how well the community meets the needs of the economic sector. Laughlin used results of the ASAP process to craft short-run and long-run economic development strategies for the community.

With EDA’s support, UCED also worked with the Western Nevada Development District (WNDD) to develop the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program. In collaboration with USDA Rural Development, SET is a strategic planning program designed specifically to focus on helping communities in rural America develop strategic economic development plans. Working collaboratively with WNDD, UCED successfully merged the SET and EDA’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) processes to create a comprehensive and actionable regional economic development strategy which could be replicated elsewhere in Nevada, as well as nationally.

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