PLATTSMOUTH, Neb. — Three years ago, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman and other officials attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Vireo Resources, a new business that opened in a garagelike building southwest of town.
The company, which makes nutritional and dietary supplements, had just a few employees at the start — but high hopes for future growth.
Thursday, Heineman and others returned to Plattsmouth to help celebrate Vireo's expansion into a new $1 million facility next door, boosting the company's total space five-fold. Production in the building will begin next week.
Vireo now employs a dozen people in Plattsmouth to mix and package the products. The company plans to increase employment to at least 18 within a year.
“We're seeing the fruits of this labor,” said State Sen. Paul Lambert, who was mayor of Plattsmouth when Vireo first came to town. “This business is going to grow and grow.”
Vireo manufactures about 50 different products in Plattsmouth. They include AminoActiv, an anti-inflammatory cream or capsule; Con-Cret, a muscle-building supplement; and Rejuvenate Plus, a product given to dogs with ailing joints.
All three of those products were developed by researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Company president Mark Faulkner said sales have increased rapidly since 2009 and should continue to grow, even without considering a proposed expansion into the Chinese market.
Faulkner went to China this summer with Heineman's trade mission and signed a distribution agreement for AminoActiv. The company still must obtain approval to sell the product in China, a process that can take at least six months.
When Vireo opened in 2009, it received $75,000 in business incentives as well as state job-training assistance, Faulkner said. He said Nebraska is going to provide more help for training the expanding workforce.
In addition, Plattsmouth granted land for the new building in the city-owned industrial park, with the condition that new jobs would be created.
Heineman praised Faulkner for continuing to invest in Nebraska.
“I'm just really proud of what he's doing in our state,” he said.
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