PCDC Approves Aggressive 5-Year Development Plan

22 Jul 2016

Phelps County will have 275 new jobs, one-third of the Iron Horse Business and Industry Park will be filled and 30 commuter families will become full-time residents by 2021 with an aggressive new plan led by the Phelps County Development Corporation.

A prospectus outlining funding goals and the strategic work plan for the next five years was approved by the PCDC board in July and will soon be shared with investors as the organization seeks $1.1 million in private donations to move the plan forward.

The private donations will be matched with LB840 funds to cultivate a more abundant future for the county.

The prospectus identifies roadblocks to success that currently exist in Phelps County, such as lack of “shovel ready” business and industry property, uncompleted development of Iron Horse Business and Industry Park, lack of workers available for skilled positions and inadequate workforce housing.

Four strategies have been outlined to overcome those obstacles and grow opportunities for the future:

GO STRATEGY I: Help Employers Invest and Grow in Phelps County

This strategy includes initiating an outreach program with corporate headquarters of businesses owned by non-local companies; supporting development of a well-trained, first-class workforce in partnership with area high schools and Central Community College; and promoting internship programs, special worker training programs and entrepreneurial efforts.

GO STRATEGY II: Aggressively Recruit Targeted Industry Prospects  

Extending utilities and building infrastructure for the Iron Horse Business and Industry Park to make it “shovel ready” and creating business incentive programs that make Phelps County competitive are part of this strategy.

GO STRATEGY III: Improve Community Preparedness and Quality of Life

Talent recruitment, developing a Young Professionals Network, upgrading community aesthetics through programs similar to the downtown Facade Improvement Grants, and partnering to solve workforce housing shortages are part of this strategy.

GO STRATEGY IV: Build a Strong Community Brand and Consensus

Aggressively promoting amenities and opportunities in Phelps County, establishing a vibrant social media presence and regularly communicating economic development accomplishments are part of the fourth strategy, in addition to building the Phelps County brand.

Some of the measurable outcomes of the prospectus include:

  • Helping create at least 275 jobs through expansions, recruitment or retention;
  • Stimulating $75 million or more in new capital investment;
  • Converting 30 commuter families to fulltime residents; and
  • Filling one third of the Iron Horse Business and Industry Park

This work plan was developed by the PCDC board and staff with revisions made after visits with nearly 80 investors and community leaders in the spring of 2016.

It follows closely along with the priorities approved by local voters in the special LB840 vote in November with 40 percent of those funds going to business retention, expansion and recruitment; 40 percent to infrastructure development, workforce housing developing the Iron Horse Business and Industry Park; and 20 percent going to community growth, downtown improvement and quality of life enhancements.

The total cost of the 2017-2021 work plan is $3.475 million. An estimated $2.375 million is expected to be generated through LB840 sales tax funds during that time. PCDC will ask private investors for another $1.1 million to reach projected goals.

If you would like more specific information about the plan or to visit with PCDC staff about the plan, please call PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery at (308) 995-4148 or email him at pcdc@phelpscountyne.com.