Nebraska Economic Development Overview - Spring 2013
A 37,000-square-foot expansion to Nor-Am Cold Storage in Schuyler, Nebraska, was recently completed in March.
Nor-Am Cold Storage began in Le Mars, Iowa, in 1999. Nor-Am provides complete refrigeration, transportation, logistics, and export services to the food and food service industry. Space is available for storage and distribution at their plants in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Texas. These facilities are centrally located in the Midwest with easy access to highways and rail.
Nor-Am opened its Schuyler location in 2004 with 90,000 square feet. The facility now has a total of 127,000 square feet, with a blast freeze capacity for 500,000 pounds, 9,000 individual pallet spots, 13 truck docks, and state-of-the-art NH3 Refrigeration Systems. Nor-Am is monitored 24 hours a day for fire, temperature, ammonia, and intrusion.
David Johnson, Plant Manager, said, “We are excited about the expansion. The employees here take pride in the fact their hard work has made Nor-Am what it is today.”
Cargill Meat Solutions in Schuyler and Cargill Value Added Meats of Columbus are the company’s two largest local customers. Located next to the Cargill plant in Schuyler, a conveyer belt brings approximately 600,000 pounds of product directly to the Nor-Am warehouse each day. Nor-Am also stores products for other companies including Henningsens, Highland Roberts, and Blue Bunny.
“Business has been good here,” said Johnson. “For the past couple of years, our customers have needed more space for certain times of the year.”
Nor-Am currently employs 33 full-time employees. Johnson said an additional five employees are expected to be hired due to the expansion.
“Capital improvement communicates ‘job certainty’ to employees and a renewed commitment to the host community. Schuyler is very fortunate to have Nor-Am Cold Storage as one of its prized corporate citizens. Its continued economic impact on the area economy is enormous. ‘Thank you’ Nor-Am Cold Storage for reinvesting in Schuyler’s future,” said Kem Cavanah, Economic Development Coordinator at Schuyler Community Development, Inc.
Nor-Am Cold Storage is served electrically by Cornhusker Public Power District, a wholesale customer of Nebraska Public Power District.
Covidien, a leading global provider of healthcare products, has expanded their facility in Norfolk, Nebraska, by 35,000 square feet. The $6-million expansion was completed in the first quarter of 2013 and is expected to bring 30 new jobs to their already 400+ employees in Norfolk.
The expansion will add three new product lines to the site, which manufactures syringes, blood collection tubes, and thermometry probe covers.
A number of factors were considered when Covidien made the decision to expand at the Norfolk plant over its 50 other manufacturing facilities. Jim Clemmer, president of medical supplies at Covidien, stated strong work ethic, level of engagement, and ingenuity demonstrated by current employees tipped the scales in the Nebraska facility’s favor.
“For us, it’s not a hard decision to invest new resources and new opportunities in a place where people deliver consistently for us,” Clemmer said. “We know they’ll do it again.”
Covidien began manufacturing in Norfolk more than five decades ago. What started out as a 50,000-square-foot hand assembly operation is now a modern facility spanning a total of nearly 275,000 square feet. “Our continued growth here is a testament to our employees, the Norfolk community, and the state of Nebraska, without whose support we could not be successful,” stated Clemmer.
Sue Fuchtman, Mayor of Norfolk, added, “For over 50 years, Covidien has been a solid industry partner, continually investing in Norfolk. We are very fortunate to have been chosen by the company for further expansion, and I thank Covidien for its confidence in our city.”
Covidien is served electrically by Nebraska Public Power District.
Chicago, Illinois, will be the location of the WINDPOWER 2013. NPPD is once again partnering with Omaha Public Power District and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development to exhibit at the largest wind-focused trade show in the world. Nebraska’s location will continue to be an attractive one for the manufacturing of turbines, blades, towers, and related components. Visit Nebraska representatives at Booth #3302 at the WINDPOWER show in Chicago on May 5-8.
For more information, visit: www.windpowerexpo.org.
A new and improved InternNE.com is attracting record users. As of March 1, more than 1,500 students and nearly 350 employers have registered on InternNE.com.
According to InternNE Program Coordinator Allison Hatch, “InternNE.com has become a top source for students statewide searching for competitive-wage internships in Nebraska, as well as hundreds of employers looking for top-notch intern candidates who may someday become excellent employees. The site is easy to use, and I encourage both businesses and students log on to connect.”
Not only is InternNE.com free for employers to advertise paid internships and access student resumes, companies that further apply and are accepted to participate in the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s InternNE Grant Program may receive added benefits. More than 252 companies have taken advantage of the program designed to help offset some of the cost and risk businesses experience when hiring interns. Grants matching wages between 40 and 60 percent are available to Nebraska companies creating qualified new internships.
The program focuses on helping businesses afford interns, helping students locate internships, and encouraging students to explore all the career-related possibilities that exist right here in Nebraska.
Through February 2013, participating companies have filled 388 positions. Since its commencement, the Intern Nebraska Program has awarded more than $2.7 million. Nearly one-third of the funds were granted to companies in non-metropolitan areas of Nebraska.
Internships have been awarded in many fields of study, including business-related occupations, computer-related occupations, engineering, sciences, and agriculture.
For more information, to find current openings, or to learn about available grants, visit: www.InternNE.com.
The two most recent communities earning designation as Nebraska Economic Development Certified Community are Chadron and Seward. These two communities are the 36th and 37th Nebraska communities to receive certification, exemplifying development readiness.
The Nebraska Economic Development Certified Community (EDCC) program, sponsored by the Nebraska Diplomats, is one of a few nationally that recognize communities’ economic development preparedness. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) administers the application process.
Deb Cottier, Nebraska Northwest Development Corporation Executive Director, said, “while the process was very involved, we found that every requirement in the certification process now makes our community better able to respond to potential business opportunities. Being certified really opens doors for us to pursue additional improvements, whether it is through a DED program only available to EDCC communities, or just the overall opportunity to compete on a level with other certified communities, it just ups the game a little.”
The certification process is ongoing and noncompetitive. Nebraska communities that exhibit the required documented economic development readiness as defined in the program criteria, and approved by a review committee will earn certification. Each community applicant is judged against standards that include organization, local industry target identification and workforce issues, infrastructure, local financing and business assistance, building and site availability, and other development projects.
“The process to become a certified economic development community has assisted the city of Seward, the Seward County Economic Development Corporation, and its economic development partners in being more competitive locally, nationally, and globally,” said Jonathan Jank, Executive Director for Seward County Economic Development Corporation. “It has helped strengthen our county-wide economic development efforts by identifying and bringing together our key stakeholders, assets and infrastructure. This important organizational effort will contribute to our long-term economic development success,” said Jank.
For more information about the Nebraska Economic Development Certified Community program or a full list of certified communities, visit: http://www.neded.org/economic-development-certified-community/certified-communities.
The city of Chadron is a retail customer of Nebraska Public Power District and the city of Seward is a wholesale customer of Nebraska Public Power District.