2023 in Review: YCDC Celebrates a Strong Year Supporting York County Growth
12 Dec 2023
Our team at the York County Development Corporation (YCDC) is constantly working to attract businesses and top talent to this wonderful region. Throughout 2023, YCDC developed several programs, received grants, and reached its goals to make York County stand out. Through the efforts of Executive Director Lisa Hurley and her team, York County continues to be an attractive place to live, work, and grow.
“We are happy that York County is starting to be recognized as a leading region in the state,” says Hurley. “However, our work is just beginning and we will look for new channels to promote our businesses and workforce in 2024 and beyond.”
Here are a few highlights illustrating YCDC’s effectiveness in promoting and encouraging quality economic growth in York County, Nebraska:
YCDC Improves Housing Infrastructure Across York County
YCDC is focused on growing the local workforce so companies have a larger talent pool to choose from. Housing infrastructure is a significant part of this. In 2023, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development awarded $1 million to YCDC to support its revolving loan fund. YCDC is working with the city and developers to plan a housing development near Mincks Park.
Along with building new homes, YCDC is working with companies to breathe new life into old structures. YCDC met with EpWorks LLC, a local company transforming an orphanage built in the 1880s into a building designed to support local youth and families. This campus has had three building renovations that house approximately 100 tenants. There will be further projects on the campus down the road.
YCDC Partners With Schools and Universities for Workforce Development
Throughout the year, YCDC partners with York Public Schools (YPS) and York University to help students develop the skills they need. Here are just a few examples of this.
- York Area Schools Worked With Cyclonaire to Establish Internship Program
- Career Exploration at YCDC’s Regional Career Day
- Manufacturing Companies & York County Students Connect Through Events in October
- York University Career Fair Connects Local Employers With Quality Students
YCDC has seen success by working directly with companies to see what they need from the workforce. Their efforts help young people choose the best classes, internships, and training seminars to prepare them to fill job openings once they graduate.
“These relationships are mutually beneficial because the students build stronger resumes and skill sets while employers have a larger talent pool in York to hire from,” says Hurley.
YCDC Staff are Recognized as Leaders in Economic Development
YCDC continues to create leaders within the community while also leading the way in Nebraska. Lisa Hurley was elected First Vice President of the National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA) at its annual conference in November. Hurley has previously served as the Secretary-Treasurer of NREDA and served in the position successfully.
“We focus solely on rural development,” says Hurley. “It is an inspiring network of people working together to make our communities and businesses better. As I like to say, they are my people.”
As the First Vice President, Hurley will continue to lead the NREDA and guide other communities based on the success she has seen in York.
Emily Perry, the Development Coordinator for YCDC, also continues to grow as a leader in the state. In April 2023, she graduated from the Policy Leadership Academy put on by First Five Nebraska. This program gives Perry the tools to analyze York County’s early childhood infrastructure and develop policies supporting the community.
Perry also attended the Heartland Economic Development Course (HEDC) with 90 other industry professionals. HEDC provides fundamental economic development training provided by the University of Northern Iowa.
YCDC Helps Close the Childcare Gap
With help from community partners, YCDC has been able to work towards establishing more opportunity for quality, adequate childcare throughout York County. This can be seen with the lowering of York County’s GAP number (the number of children who currently have inadequate care) from 316 down to 153.
“As a community, we have made significant strides towards closing the childcare gap,” said Perry. “With help from partners, we have been able to work towards establishing more opportunities for quality, adequate childcare throughout York County. This includes start-up assistance, current child care expansions, and other initiatives with the goal to expand county child care capacity.” YCDC will continue prioritizing the creation of additional childcare spots in 2024 and beyond.
YCDC Looks for Unique Ways to Engage the Community
YCDC stands behind its goal of coming together to grow. Staff develop a variety of channels to connect with local businesses and residents. The City of York participated in Small Business Week and Economic Development Week this May because of YCDC. Mayor Barry Redfern issued a proclamation highlighting the role of economic development as essential for promoting the well-being and quality of life of residents.
Businesses can also connect with YCDC through the 17-County Leadership Program, designed for local entrepreneurs and business owners to develop plans to grow their enterprises in the future. Participants can immediately apply what they learn to build healthier companies in York County.
Another channel to connect with the community is the YCDC Podcast – 17-County – dedicated to the hidden gems of rural life and thriving small-town infrastructure. It has more than 12,000 downloads from listeners across 29 different nations. More than 20,000 visitors have come to the website because of the YCDC podcast.