No issue is more important in our state right now than our high unemployment rate. Our top priority must be to get Nevadans back to work as soon as possible, and we must also look past this current recession to jobs for the future.
Immediate job creation--We must continue to create jobs to get Nevadans back to work now. Earlier this year, we approved funding for road construction projects to create 8000 new jobs. Almost a million dollars in funding was released on July 1 for these road projects. In 2009, we also approved incentives for renewable energy development projects that create Nevada jobs, and those projects are now beginning to come on line.
We must, however, do more. I am helping to spearhead a "Nevada first" effort to make sure that public works jobs--those funded with taxpayer dollars--go to Nevada workers. I have also requested legislation for next session to make sure Nevada businesses are used whenever possible to supply materials to public works projects.
Jobs for the future--Our state has been particularly hard-hit by this world-wide recession because of our dependence on tourism. When people all over the world have no money to spend on travel, our economy suffers, with job losses not only in the tourism industry, but in construction and all services. We must look beyond our current economic downturn to the future of our state and our economy--at ways we can become a leader in renewable energy development, the manufacturing and distribution of goods, and in the health care industry.