YCDC helped facilitate $195 million in new investment in York County in last 10 years

YORK – In the last 10 years, the York County Development Corporation has helped facilitate $195 million in new investment in York County which has led to the creation and retention of approximately 290 jobs.

Lisa Hurley, director of the YCDC, presented that impressive number, as she marked her 10th anniversary in her position in May.

She provided the information this past week with the York County Commissioners, as she made her annual report and budget request.

“First, I would like to thank you for your continued support,” she said to the county board. “I’m here today to request $82,000 for next year’s funding, which is the same amount as last year. I’m very proud of what we’ve done in the last 10 years. I lead YCDC with the mindset of approaching economic development in a holistic manner working with many partners.”

She also provided aspects of the entity’s strategic plan, focusing on “people, business, housing, infrastructure and organization.”

As far as the people aspect, she said they “continue to develop, retain and recruit talent to help meet York County businesses’ workforce needs. This is our top goal because in order to meet our businesses’ current and future needs, we need to develop and recruit talent.”

The YCDC, she said, continues a national talent ad that follows newspaper audiences outside of Nebraska; they continue to make “Why York County” videos and podcasts which have resulted in 80 episodes and has garnered over 20,000 downloads.

She said they are in the third year of the 17-County Leadership program and are currently accepting applications. They have continued the ESI Camp for middle schoolers who will again be selling their start-up products on July 15.

The work in the area of childcare is imperative, she said, as the latest study shows 317 spots are still needed in the York County community. She said the YCDC has goals of helping start-up in-home childcare, help expand existing childcare facilities and to look at the feasibility of a large new center. She said YCDC is also involved in the York County Childcare Alliance, the York County Childcare Taskforces and a York County business community. Childcare is crucial, she explained, in helping expand the workforce in the county and fill the many empty positions local employers are faced with.

Also in the area of retaining and recruiting workers, they participate in the York Regional Career Day where as many as 12 schools participate from four counties. She said this is an opportunity to show young people the opportunities that are available to them, here at home.

They continue manufacturing tours and they have assisted with quality of life initiatives such as the Peyton Parker Lane Playground and technical assistance for other park/community funding throughout the county.

Regarding businesses, she said, “We work to ensure there is always controlled industrial land for expansion and recruitment possibilities. All controlled sites are sold and we are working with a committee to address this. We sold out two industrial parks over the past years, which is amazing, but now we have to address that situation. We work to market available sites and buildings. On our website, we have industrial and commercial properties listed. We also continue to provide technical assistance to York County entrepreneurs, start-ups, expanding and transitioning businesses. In 2021, we released SizeUp, and this tool helps entrepreneurs and small businesses with date to measure performance, identify customers, suppliers, competitors and market opportunities, while analyzing demographics. In the last 12 months, 364 businesses in York County have used this tool. We have also revised our business resource directory page to make it more usable and to provide better resources for our businesses.

“In the past year, we have assisted Klute Inc. and a yet-to-be-announced start-up business obtain Site and Building Development Funds. This will bring in $275,000 of grant funds for manufacturing businesses,” Hurley continued. “We were able to assist two small businesses in 2022-23 with funds that arere donated to us for business growth. And we continue to be involved in a regional manufacturing group in which several York County employers are engaged.”

Regarding housing, Hurley said YCDC’s housing study update in 2021 showed a gap of 542 units. She also encouraged attendance at an upcoming housing meeting on July 27. She said they have provided guidance and technical assistance to several York County communities and have worked with developers and contractors to attract housing development in the county. And the big news came in May, when they received $1 million in Rural Workforce Housing Fund money that will be used to help develop a new housing area in York.

She said YCDC continues to support large-scale infrastructure projects within York County or those that impact York County. “One reason this is still a goal is that we continue to seek the completion of Highway 81. We continue to advocate for that project in Lincoln and we made some headway this year. We are not sure on a timeline, but I have my fingers crossed.”

Within their organization, staff participate in legislative committees, as well as on regional, state and a national board. They have a new part-time staff member starting on July 17. And they continue to hold regular traveling offices in Benedict, Bradshaw, Gresham, Henderson, McCool Junction and Waco.

“We do see action,” said Commissioner Chairman Randy Obermier. “YCDC has been a great partner for a number of years. And I’m impressed how the private membership has really expanded.”

Hurley said private membership/investment is currently at an all-time high. She said $130,000 in investment has been committed by local businesses and individuals – that figure historically had been around $52,000. “We have seen massive growth which is awesome. They are investing in YCDC’s efforts, along with our government partners (the county, city and participating villages).

The county board will consider her budget request during the formulation process this summer.

 

 

 

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