Coming Together to Grow, 12.1.16

1 Dec 2016

News Articles, workforce

Are you someone who is interested in growing the county?  Are you wondering how to be more involved?  This is an opportunity for you! York County is your county! On Monday, November 28th, York County Development and York College hosted the first facilitator training for the Marketing Hometown America initiative.  YCDC and York College are leading this program because we believe our County can grow in population if we have a targeted people recruitment marketing plan. 


This program will look at what reasons people move to York County and why people leave.  Is it just about the job opportunities or are there other considerations?   Are there things York County can do to help recruit new residents? When an employer recruits an employee from outside of the region, what can we do to have this person become a York County resident?

These questions and others will be addressed in a community-wide effort, Marketing York County America, beginning in January.  Save the date to attend the Community Kick-off meeting January 10th, 5:15 at Holthus Convention Center, Room I. 


We need more facilitators for this to be a successful County effort. By having study circles in each community, the study will result in each community having a plan, plus an overall strategy for the county overall. We could use more facilitators and representation from Benedict, Gresham, Luston, McCool Junction, Thayer, and Waco.  We are also looking for our groups to be diverse as they are integral to the success of the plan.
“Marilyn Schlake and I are excited to be able to offer this program in York County,” said Charlotte Narjes, University of Nebraska Community Development Project Specialist.  “Marketing Home Town America is based on research conducted here in Nebraska.  The process creates an opportunity for individuals to share their ideas and to help build a vision to attract and retain new residents to York County.”
People who participate in the program will:

  • Learn what new residents are looking for as they relocate to a rural community;
  • Discover often overlooked local assets that attract potential new residents;
  • Understand the importance of local family and friend referrals and the positive image that can be projected through a community website and social media;
  • Learn and practice the skills of positive community dialogue to increase involvement and confidence in their ability to market their community;
  • Build and implement a marketing action plan that incorporates realistic and achievable actions to successfully market their community: and
  • Increase the community’s human capacity and confidence in using the dialogue approach to address future community issues.

Everyone in the county is invited to participate in small group conversations to explore ideas on how to attract and retain people to all of York County.  Each small group will consist of a series of four conversations that focus on the strengths and opportunities in York County and that will lead to identifying strategies to better market the county.   

Following the focus conversations, a community forum will be held on February 27, 2017 at York College in the Mackey Center to get feedback on the ideas shared.
“This process helps a community with decisions on how to market themselves to potential new residents. When new residents find a good community ‘match,’ they stay and everyone benefits – the new residents, the current citizens and the community as a whole,” says Charlotte Narjes.  
Individuals wanting to participate in a small group session in your local community can also call or stop by the York County Economic Development office to register. 
For more information contact York County Development Corporation at 402.362.3333, email or visit our the website page


Lisa Hurley, CEcD, Executive Director,
York County Development Corporation

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