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UNR forum to examine state’s business outlook

The College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno, will host Vision 2021: The Nevada Economic Forecast on Friday, Jan. 22 as part of the college’s continued efforts to support the growth of the state’s economy.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Nevada’s economy in a number of unprecedented and difficult-to-predict ways,” said Frederick Steinmann, assistant professor in the college’s economics department and conference organizer. “Vision 2021 is an attempt to understand how the pandemic has impacted the state’s economy and how the state’s economy will continue to be affected.”

Policy makers at the state and local level, government administrators and business and industry leaders are welcome and encouraged to attend as the information presented during this year’s event will help in preparing for the year to come.

Vision 2021 is a statewide event with a statewide focus. This year’s primary keynote presentation will feature a set of representatives from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, including Nancy Gilbert, senior program analyst with EDA’s Economic Development Integration; Carleen Herring, Idaho and Rural Nevada EDA representative; Doug Lynott, director of EDA’s Economic Development Integration; and Frances Sakaguchi, EDA Regional Economic Development Integrator.

All four speakers will examine the current state of the larger western and intermountain western United States economy and the Economic Development Administration’s priorities for this region for the coming year.

The next two keynote presentations will feature Nevada State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, who will present a budgetary and fiscal outlook for the state for the coming biennium, and two members of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development: Patricia Herzog, director of rural economic development, and Tatjana Vukovic, director of business development. They will examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the state’s overall economy since March 2020 and will discuss how the ongoing pandemic will continue to affect its economy, economic development and recovery efforts in 2021.

The remaining sessions will be dedicated to discussing the immediate future of several key industry sectors vital to the state’s overall economic prosperity, including housing, agriculture, health care, mining and tourism. This year’s economic forecast event will feature individual presentations from Brian Bonnenfant, program manager with the College of Business’s Center for Regional Studies; Jennifer Ott, director of the Nevada Department of Agriculture; Alan Olive, CEO of Northern Nevada Sierra Medical Center; Michael Visher, administrator with the Nevada Division of Minerals; and Brenda Scolari, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.

“Nevada’s unique economic profile has left the state particularly susceptible to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” Steinmann said. “Nevada’s economy is highly integrated with global and national economic changes. Within the state, and despite considerable efforts to diversify the state’s economic base, changes in a few key industry sectors, such as housing, agriculture, mining, health care and tourism, can have widespread impacts on the overall economic fortunes of local governments, private sector firms and individuals.”

Registration for Vision 2021 is $25 and can be done online. Attendees are asked to register by 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18. Because of current COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on large meetings, Vision 2021 will be held online via Zoom. Upon registration, registered participants will be sent a website link for the event.

Questions should be directed to Frederick Steinmann, assistant research professor, at fred@unr.edu or 775-784-1655.

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