APRIL 13, 2016 (LINCOLN, NEB.) — The City of Aurora (pop. 4,583) has earned recertification as an Economic Development Certified Community, State of Nebraska officials announced on Tuesday. Business Development Consultant Kelly Gewecke, of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, announced the recertification during the Aurora City Council meeting on April 12.
Sponsored by the Nebraska Diplomats and administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the Economic Development Certified Community program recognizes communities’ preparedness for regional business growth. The City of Aurora’s recertification indicates that the community is capable of meeting the needs of companies seeking new locations by having an existing site available for business recruitment purposes and understanding the utility capacity available at the site. Economic leaders in an EDCC community also work to identify potential target markets for business recruitment, retention and.expansion efforts.
“The complexity of the EDCC application process encouraged us to take a good look at economic development business best practices and learn how to effectively showcase the City of Aurora,” said Barb Ernst, Executive Director of the Aurora Area Chamber and Development Corporation (AACDC). “Achieving recertification provides our community with another recruiting tool for potential business development in Hamilton County.”
The City of Aurora earned its original EDCC certification in October 2010 and was recertified in March 2016. Local leaders’ support for community development has played a key role in the city’s economic growth. Over the past five years, collaboration between the City of Aurora and the AACDC contributed to the creation of 13 new businesses and 56 new jobs.
Capital investment generated by four business expansion projects also resulted in four new jobs in the community. In 2014, Aurora Cooperative completed an $8 million, 30,000- square- foot corporate headquarters facility in Aurora. Expansion efforts at two additional businesses resulted in upgraded amenities, including a diesel island at Casey’s General Store and a 6,600 foot trailer service structure at Timpte’s Aurora location. Both companies expanded their businesses in 2012.
“Expansion projects continue to be an important factor in Aurora’s economic growth and are great indicators of success within an EDCC community,” said Nebraska Diplomats President Dean Hart. “Development efforts that meet the needs of both employees and customers are important factors in a city’s ability to retain top talent and services.”
Continued area partnerships have also contributed to recent accomplishments in the community. Last month, Aurora leaders partnered with area economic development organizations and Chambers of Commerce in Fillmore and York counties to host a Tri-County Job Fair/Career Day. The event drew 56 businesses, four colleges, and 245 students from ten area high schools. In addition, the AACDC is partnering with several counties to discuss ways to improve and enhance the four-lane highway intersecting in Fillmore, Hamilton, Seward and York counties. The City of Aurora is also working in collaboration with Central City to bring solar-powered energy to Hamilton County.
“Aurora, from very early on, has been known for its community pride built on positive, productive progress in an effort to develop the great lifestyle we are able to enjoy today,” said Aurora City Administrator Rick Melcher. “We invite businesses and future residential developers into our community to help continue to make Aurora a great place to live, work and raise a family.”
Contact Lynn Kohout at 402-440-2559, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.neded.org/economic-development-certified-community for additional information on the Economic Development Certified Community Program.