Great continued economic development success in 2014

21 Oct 2014


By Governor Dave Heineman

 

This year is shaping up to be another year of economic prosperity with continued great success in job creation and expansion.

It became clearly evident that 2014 would be another great economic year for our state with the Tejas Tubular Products announcement in January to expand to Norfolk, Nebraska from Texas. The expansion involves building a new 350,000 sq. ft. facility and hiring as many as 200 people to fill its employment needs.

Throughout the year, Nebraska has continued to garner the attention of site selectors looking to help a company relocate and local businesses looking to expand.  Currently there are more than 85 economic projects that staff members from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development are actively pursuing. These are projects in communities all across the state in different industries.

Additionally, we have awarded $1.8 million in Community Development Block Grant funding to the cities of Lyons, McCook and Sidney to develop infrastructure that impacts several economic development projects totaling $15.3 million of private investment.

We have awarded $1.7 million from the State’s Site and Building Development fund to four projects that are investing $6.6 million. A few recent successes include:

Adams Industries, Inc.’s expansion, and Bell Lumber & Pole location in Cheyenne County, a double win for the greater Sidney area. Adams Industries, a service-based transportation and manufacturing company that provides logistic solutions, specialized warehousing and unique trans-loading of materials, expanded its operations in Sidney by building an additional 37,000 linear feet of rail and switching equipment to enhance its trans-loading capabilities.  

Bell Lumber & Pole Company, a 104-year-old company headquartered in Minneapolis, was searching for a place where its new facility would find easy access to both Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail lines. It ultimately chose to locate and build a facility on prime industrial zoned property belonging to Adams Industries, Inc. Between the two projects, 55 full-time jobs were created, and both companies committed approximately $14.9 million in company equity and financing.

Brehmer Manufacturing in Lyons announced its most recent 80 ft. by 125 ft. warehouse and manufacturing expansion. The company invested nearly $570,000 in the project which involved purchasing new equipment and hiring ten full-time employees. This family-owned company continued to thrive through the national economic slowdown thanks to operating diverse business units in niche markets associated with agriculture, livestock, truck equipment, truck sales, tire recycling equipment, and custom manufacturing.

Booe Machinery & Salvage LLC in McCook expanded its operations providing work for an additional three full-time employees.

Overall, Nebraska ranks as one of America’s ten most business-friendly states in 2014 by Pollina Corporate Real Estate, Inc., a national leader in corporate site selection. This marks the sixth year in a row that our state has been recognized as one of the top pro-businesses states.

We maintain our high business-friendly ranking through a constant, aggressive, and forward-thinking approach to providing comprehensive business incentives. This past legislative session, we extended two key programs - the Nebraska Advantage and Angel Tax Credit programs. To give you an idea of the importance of these programs, all Angel Tax Credit funding was allocated on day one.

Nebraska is recognized nationally as prime location for new and expanding companies and quality jobs. Site Selection Magazine presented us with the 2014 Governor’s Cup, naming our state No. 1 in the nation with the most qualifying new and expanded facilities on a per capita basis.

With an emphasis on job creation and workforce development needs, we have embarked on conducting a series of joint labor availability studies between the Nebraska Departments of Economic Development and Labor. The first study examined northeast Nebraska, including the employment centers of Columbus, Fremont, Norfolk, South Sioux City, Wayne and West Point. We have been able to provide this data to employers and area economic developers in order to provide them a greater understanding of what’s required to attract new, expanding, and existing businesses and skilled employees to fill their specific positions.

Finally, our InternNE program has now been making successful matches since 2011. A total of 395 companies have participated, successfully filling 793 positions in diverse disciplines and fields including general business, IT, engineering, sciences and agriculture to name a few. From the students’ perspective, we have awarded 1,443 internships with 35 percent originating outside Omaha and Lincoln.

This is already another great year for Nebraska and we still have several months of hard work ahead of us.

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