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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

An update on the Nebraska Advantage

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dear Fellow Nebraskans:

I want to share an update on an initiative that has been an outstanding asset to our business development efforts in the last few years. I worked with the Legislature to develop the Nebraska Advantage in 2005. It was the first comprehensive update to Nebraska's business incentives program since the 1980s.

Since taking effect in 2006, we have received applications from 227 companies looking to expand or locate in our state. Those projects are expected to inject $5.5 billion in capital investments and create nearly 18,000 new, full-time jobs across our state.

These numbers take on added significance when viewed in the context of a new report on growing an innovation economy in Nebraska. The report identified 12 industries that are strong or emerging strengths for our state. Many of the Nebraska Advantage projects involve companies within these industries.

Thirty-three companies in the bio-medical or renewable fuel sectors have submitted a Nebraska Advantage application. These projects are expected to invest $2.9 billion and create 2,000 jobs. One example is a company based in Plattsmouth that was successful in licensing technology developed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Vireo Resources is an example of how research that starts out in a lab can become products for commercial enterprises. The result is a new biotechnology company that has created jobs in a small community.

There are 56 companies in the telecommunications and other business services category, with the potential of creating nearly 6,000 jobs. WebEquity Solutions provides on-demand lending software for banks and other lenders. It is an example of a new business that was encouraged to locate in Nebraska and moved its corporate headquarters to Omaha last year.

Manufacturers and other processing companies are responsible for 108 of the Nebraska Advantage applications that have been submitted to date and are expected to create 4,800 jobs; many in the rural parts of our state. Smeal Fire Apparatus Co. in Snyder is a family-owned business known as a premier manufacturer of aerial ladders, platform aerials and pumpers for customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. This company employs approximately 300 people in rural Nebraska. It was among the first to apply for Nebraska Advantage incentives as part of an expansion planned in Neligh.

Commercial Resins of Sidney, Timber Creek Homes in Stratton, C.J. Foods Inc. in Pawnee City, and Royal Plastics in Minden are all examples of companies based in rural areas that are growing in our state. Their products are produced in Nebraska and shipped across the country and around the world. Their growth and that of other transportation, warehousing and logistics companies is contributing to an emerging strength for Nebraska's economy.

Financial services and insurance companies are another industry that is growing with the opportunities created by Nebraska Advantage. Xpansion, LLC, in Kearney is a software developer and testing firm for financial clients and other high-end technology companies. Xpansion and the 30 companies in this sector are creating more than 5,000 new jobs.

By expanding in Nebraska, each of these has companies created job opportunities for recent Nebraska college graduates and other young workers. In some cases, they have created opportunities for former Nebraskans to return to our state. We are expanding our business recruitment efforts to data center projects and companies that sell or deliver cloud-computing services and products via other electronic platforms in an effort to create more of these opportunities for young professionals and future graduates.

More information on the incentives that are part of the package and Nebraska's competitive advantages are available online at www.NebraskaAdvantage.biz.

Our goal in creating the Nebraska Advantage was to make our state the preferred location for starting and growing successful businesses. The progress of the past four years has put Nebraska on the right track.

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