Creative Workforce Housing Solutions
21 Apr 2023
Like many areas York County Nebraska communities struggle with housing and workforce. From permanent to short-term, there never seems to be enough to support the community’s growing needs. York County communities, York County Development Corporation, and many other partners are consistently working to increase the number of available quality housing units, both rental and owner-occupied housing. Equipped with housing studies, it is easy to focus on the long-term needs of the permanent workforce who are living close to their employment. However, York County is home to many ag processors and other corporations that require housing for a seasonal migrant workforce, as well as being a central location for many contractors working in the region away from home. This need has to be addressed in order for York County businesses to bring in the temporary workforce to meet business goals. Step in EpWorks to reinvent a campus to provide quality housing for this section of our workforce.
EpWorks LLC is a new company in York, NE that is making it its mission to bridge the gap by breathing new life into an eight-building 18-acre campus that most recently housed troubled youth but started as an orphanage in the 1880s. The mission behind this campus has always been to support youth and families. The campus has sat mostly empty for years and now is being reinvented into workforce housing for individuals which makes their family units stronger. Although outdated, the setting is beautiful, and the buildings are a perfect setup for temporary housing. Renovation began in December and phase one is set to wrap up in May. Once completed, Phase One will provide housing for approximately 100 tenants. Each building will be fully furnished and have 10-15 private to multi-tenant bedrooms as well as fully updated kitchens and bathrooms, onsite laundry, large hangout spaces, and great outdoor space with grills and picnic tables. Phase two will start in May and will provide efficiency and one-bedroom apartments and should be completed sometime in 2024. Phase 3 is still in discussion but could see corporate apartments, additional parking, and RV spaces.
In addition to the housing, there is an onsite cafeteria dubbed “The Lunchbox” that is in the process of getting licensed and will start providing to-go breakfast and lunch in June. There is a goal of expanding to full service in the future. This will provide a valuable service to those staying on the campus, as well as eventually being able to serve workers in the nearby industries.
If you have questions on doing business in York County, Nebraska, please contact York County Development Corporation, Lisa Hurley, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402.362.3333. If you have questions on EpWorks, please contact Lynne Wagner, General Manager at email@example.com or 402-745-6131.