Made in Henderson. Used around the world and beyond.
September 26, 2021
Made in Henderson.
“If that were a label on products manufactured here in Henderson, the label would have already traveled around the world and even to outer space,” notes Derek Armstrong, Director of Economic Development and Tourism for Henderson, Nevada.
The Henderson product that traveled to outer space was a lithium-ion battery system designed and manufactured by K2 Energy, founded in 2006 in Henderson incubation space. In 2016, a K2 battery powered the history-making Blue Origin space vehicle, New Horizons, the first rocket booster to fly into space and return to Earth in a vertical landing.
Other Henderson manufacturers blazing a trail include Haas Automation, setting a standard in global leadership as the world’s largest maker of machine tools, with annual revenue in excess of $1 billion. Smaller enterprises are also setting the pace: Dronesmith seeks to democratize drone manufacturing by designing and making the development tools to speed new drone technology to market.
Making the products that make the world better.
“That’s a hallmark of Henderson manufacturing,” Armstrong says. “Products made here help the world work smarter, more sustainably and more securely, whether it’s Haas, K2, DroneSmith or companies like RS Automation and VadaTech.”
A Korean-based company, RS Automation manufactures program controllers, and other automation products that make factories more efficient. “You can think of RS products as ‘brains’ for factories,” Armstrong explains.
VadaTech’s embedded computer solutions range from board level products to chassis level platforms to configurable application systems. “VadaTech products are used in all kinds of applications,” Armstrong points out, “from sonars to electronic warfare systems, from airborne reconnaissance to shipboard communications, and a wide range of transportation systems.”
Strong manufacturing roots.
Traditional manufacturing is also thriving here, as long-time Henderson companies make products that make consumers look and feel better: Wearing Levi’s designer jeans made in the brand’s only manufacturing operation to use laser technology to imprint patterns selected or even created by end wearers; taking ProCaps vitamin supplements manufactured in a plant powered with pioneering sustainable technology; and savoring gourmet chocolates made by hand at Mars’ Ethel M Chocolate Factory.
Rising to new challenges.
ProCaps, Ethel M and Levi Strauss have been flourishing in the city for over 40 years. However, the arrival of Haas marks a new stage in Henderson’s growth as a center for advanced manufacturing, and the city has responded accordingly with impressive innovations in the talent pipeline. Haas is currently completing construction on a 2.5 million-square-foot production center expected to create 1,400 jobs in the first five years. And moving toward construction to meet that skills need: Henderson’s new $12 million Workforce Training Center.
Haas will be a key curriculum collaborator for the Center, working closely with College of Southern Nevada (CSN). As Southern Nevada’s preferred industrial trainer, CSN offers both the necessary experience and expertise as well as existing training courses to supply the foundation for the Center’s scaled-up curricula. Workforce recruitment services will be provided by Southern Nevada’s Workforce Connections, the state’s one-stop career center.
“Henderson already has a large labor pool—a population of over well over2 million within a 50-minute radius,” Armstrong says. “Now, with the Workforce Training Center and the training and recruitment services of CSN and Workforce Connections, we have a comprehensive system with all the elements in place for the state’s most robust and highly aligned talent pipeline.”
Going farther from a globally strategic location.
Getting products around the world requires the kind of location and logistics that has also played a part in Henderson’s manufacturing growth—particularly in the decision by Haas to locate its expansion facility here. Headquartered in California, Haas needed large tracts of land, lower operational costs, and a location with proximity to company headquarters. Henderson delivered all those assets in a location on the I-15 corridor close enough to reach Los Angeles ports in a one-day turnaround.
Now, as Henderson products continue to ship far and wide across the globe, and the talent pipeline powers up, Armstrong sees even greater success ahead.
“The sky’s not the limit for us. Henderson business is flying even higher.”