Nebraska: Balanced Economic Base
02 Jun, 2017
World-class telecommunications infrastructure, a business-friendly regulatory atmosphere, speed to markets, a central location and access to key transportation routes are just a few of the factors that make up Nebraska’s economy.
More than 55 million people are located within a 500-mile radius of Nebraska. Its balanced economic base has provided a profitable home for five Fortune 500 Companies including Berkshire Hathaway, ConAgra Foods, Mutual of Omaha, Peter Kiewit Sons and Union Pacific Railroad.
In 2014, Pollina named Nebraska to have the fourth top economic development organization in the U.S. and the third top 10 pro business state. In the same year, CNBC named Nebraska the fourth best state for doing business.
Major industries in the state include biosolutions, transportation logistics, software and technology, finance and insurance, research and development, engineering, tourism, health services, advanced manufacturing and business management and administrative services.
As the only state that has a 100 percent public power system, customers and residents of Nebraska enjoy electrical power at some of the lowest rates in the nation.
It is quality of life factors such as this that have landed Nebraska distinctions such as being named one of the happiest states in the nation, one of the best runs states and having one of the best qualities of life.
By Rachel Hamilton
When it comes to distribution and logistics, “it doesn’t get much better than York County,” says Lisa Hurley, executive director of the York County Development Corp. (YCDC).
York County is in southeastern Nebraska on Interstate 80 and State Highway 81, which is four-lanes and meets up with Interstates in Kansas to reach all the way south to the Gulf of Mexico, according to Hurley, who notes that 90 percent of the continental US is within a 2-days drive for trucking.
York Industrial Site is owned by the City of York. The city is nearly finished with due diligence and planning on the 34-acre rail-accessible site, and the site will soon be shovel-ready, Hurley says.
Southeast Community College “opened up a regional learning center here. That was huge for us,” Hurley says. The public schools have agronomy clinics that work with seed corn companies to train the next generation in agriculture.
York County also invests in its talent pipeline by sending students on industry tours and hosting job fairs, says Hurley. York County partners with neighboring Hamilton and Fillmore Counties and the Nebraska Dept. of Labor to host a joint career day to match workers and companies together.
Nebraska is a “public power state,” so the electricity is all publicly-owned, rather than being owned by for-profit companies, meaning that the utility rates are low, as Hurley points out.
“New high-energy users can qualify for economic development incentives,” Hurley says. York can also offer tax increment financing (TIF) for qualifying projects.