PCDC’s Momentum Continues After Receiving NREDA Award

PCDC’s Momentum Continues After Receiving NREDA Award Main Photo

20 Nov 2020

Phelps County received national attention as a leader in rural economic development at a recent conference.

The National Rural Economic Developers Association (NREDA) awarded PCDC its 2020 Organization Excellence Award for its work across many areas, including addressing housing and workforce shortages and helping businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Phelps County Development Corporation has had a creative and aggressive response to the COVID-19 pandemic with its Magic Multiplier and Digital Development Grant programs, which pumped nearly $200,000 into the Phelps County economy at a time when their small businesses desperately needed it,” NREDA Awards Committee Chair Dennis Mingyar said.

He highlighted PCDC’s GO! Home programs, the recruitment of the Cobblestone Hotel and the high-demand scholarships, which PCDC has awarded for the past seven years. A total of $176,000 has been awarded to 69 students to study in local high-demand areas with the intent to return to the county to work after obtaining advanced education.

Mingyar announced the award at the NREDA’s virtual annual conference in early November with more than 130 members in attendance. NREDA provides education, networking and resources to support at least 275 members in small markets across more than 30 states. Its members represent electric and telephone cooperatives and economic development organizations.

NREDA’s Organization Excellence Award recognizes entities that have implemented a successful rural economic development program with the focus on successfully communicating the program, improvements to the business climate, and measurable results and outcomes.

Mingyar said PCDC is unique in that it had so many successful programs and could have won the award for any one of those individually.

“We are deeply honored to share in this recognition by our peers in rural economic development,” PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery said. “Regions like ours have unique challenges that set us apart from more populous areas, so the programming created by PCDC is specific to Phelps County and surrounding counties.”

Rick Nelsen, Senior Economic Development Consultant at NPPD, nominated PCDC for the award.

“Phelps County Development is truly a representative of an outstanding rural economic development organization and an excellent model for other groups to aspire to be like,” Nelsen said. “PCDC and its staff, Ron Tillery, Executive Director; now former Director of Business Services Carley Bruning; and Director of Administrative Services Stacy Pafford are well-deserving of this award.”

Tillery said he also thanked the PCDC board of directors for their commitment and support and for the community’s support, which also made this award possible.

“We are really excited about what might lie ahead in the future,” Tillery said. “We have a couple of balls in the air, and hopefully we can keep everything moving into 2021.”

PCDC received a custom-made glass platter as its award, and it is displayed at the PCDC office on the second floor of the Holdrege City building.