Cultivating Strong Business Connections

16 May 2017

Economic development work often focuses on new businesses. But, one of Phelps County Development Corporation’s roles involves supporting existing businesses, especially large employers like Allmand Bros.

In April, PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery and Nebraska Public Power District Senior Economic Development Consultant Rick Nelsen met with Ed Wajda, Senior Vice President & President of Briggs and Stratton’s Global Standby & Job Site Products Group, at the Company’s Milwaukee headquarters. Briggs & Stratton owns Allmand Bros., a manufacturer of portable light towers and other construction equipment and is a major employer in Phelps County.

Allmand Bros. announced earlier this year that it was expanding its product offerings to now include Maxi-Air™ Portable Air Compressors and Maxi-Power™ Mobile Generators.

Strategies, staffing and other opportunities were discussed during the meeting in Milwaukee.

Tillery said PCDC promised to help Alllmand Bros. in four areas:

  1. Connect the company with the Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help with potential plans to reconfigure assembly lines at the plant to accommodate the new products.
  2. Establish a relationship between Allmand Bros. and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering to develop internships and help fill jobs in mechanical and electrical engineering at the plant.
  3. Work in partnership with NPPD and the City of Holdrege to conduct an energy audit at the plant.
  4. Provide wage comparison data by occupation for Phelps, Dawson and Buffalo Counties.

Also during the trip, Tillery presented Briggs & Stratton with an award from Nebraska Department of Economic Development director Courtney Dentlinger expressing Nebraska’s appreciation for Briggs & Stratton’s contributions to Nebraska’s economy.