More drones, more jobs for Northern Nevada

REN0912 Air Races Drones 4

Rob Dunbar flies his drone in a net-enclosed area in the Drone Zone during the Reno Air Races on Sept. 12, 2014.

Brush up on your video-game skills. Drone jobs are coming to Reno.

“Our society has built a ready-made workforce with video games,” said Don Cunningham, business operations manager for the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems.

“It’s the same types of skills: hand-eye coordination and using buttons and levers to make something do something. I know kids in high school that could probably do a better job at flying a UAV than I — and I’m a pilot.”

More jobs, like controllers and maintenance technicians, will be popping up as firms making unmanned aerial vehicles — so-called drones — take hold here. The drone industry will make more than 100,000 U.S. jobs by 2025, according to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

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