Holdrege recertifies for economic progress

23 Jul 2014

Article By: Kearney Hub   |   Jessica Kokesh

HOLDREGE — Holdrege has been re-certified for another five years in the Nebraska Economic Development Certified Community Program.

Sponsored by the Nebraska Diplomats and administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the certification allows communities to be identified and documented as ready for economic development opportunities.

“(The re-certification) puts us in best-practices state of mind,” said Monica Boyken, executive director of Phelps County Development Corp. “It’s more about the journey going through those best practices, and we know the final results are going to be solid economic development.”

Holdrege first earned certification in 2006 and re-certification in 2009. The re-certification process is hefty, Boyken said, and PCDC had to address several economic development issues and questions about marketing and about city infrastructure.

“There are communities in the state that don’t have infrastructure to grow,” Boyken said. “We also address business retention strategies. If you don’t keep local companies happy, you won’t attract new businesses.”

Holdrege has kept local companies happy in recent years. In May, PCDC closed on a 134-acre tract that will become the community’s business and industry park. The next focus will be on extending utilities to the park and marketing its benefits.

In 2013, Allmand Bros., the county’s second-largest employer, completed a $3.5 million expansion. The local Cargill plant is undergoing a $30 million site expansion that includes increasing storage capacity and improving access to markets via the addition of new railroad service and technology to load 120-car shuttle trains.

For more information on the Economic Development Certified Communities program, contact Andrea McClintic at andrea.mcclintic@nebraska.gov or 308-440-1490.

email to: jessica.kokesh@kearneyhub.com