York County Development Corporation (YCDC) was formed on December 3rd, 1996 by Dean Sach and Hollis Miller. The original Board of Directors also included Danny Allison, C. H. Baer, Adam Broughton, Dan Collin, Don Freeman, Merlyn Hansen, Ron Hitch, Kelly Holthus, Robert Jones, Larry Kopsa, Cy North, Tom Robson, Don Witte, D. Weber, and Tom Zeggers.
YCDC’s Board has grown and our current Executive Committee includes: President, Matt Spanjers (York Cold Storage); Vice President, Jim Ulrich (York General); Treasurer, Daryl Wilton (Cornerstone Bank): Secretary, Eric Montgomery (Edward Jones); Assistant Secretary, Dr. Steve Eckman (York College); Past President, Amie Kopcho (Community Title); Past, Past President, Tony North (York Printing Company); City of York, Joseph Frei (City Administrator); and a shared seat by York County Commissioners Randy Obermier and Kurt Bulgrin.
The Staff includes Lisa Hurley, Certified Economic Developer, Executive Director; Deb Heskett, Business Manager, and Derek Dauel, Development Coordinator.
YCDC was formed by a group of business leaders who saw a need to work to grow York County economically. They had been working informally for a number of years, and at one point decided to formalize the corporation. YCDC is the lead economic development organization in York County to bring talent or business attention to York County. As such, we work with local entrepreneurs, retaining and expanding businesses, recruiting businesses, housing development and talent recruitment and development.
YCDC’s Mission – To promote, encourage, and facilitate quality growth of York County Nebraska. Our Current 3-year Strategic plan has the following goals: Increase the number of quality housing units in York County, Support quality business growth in York County, and Make York County a place people want to live and work in by strengthening educational programs and opportunities to fill the skills gap.
To meet these goals, YCDC works with numerous partners including communities, businesses, educators, utilities, non-profits and more. YCDC staff has helped start-up businesses, such as Triple Crown Boutique, complete their planning and identify finance activities. By providing the information and the connections, our goal is to help businesses succeed. We have also worked with companies for expansions, including the expansion of Nutrition Services in 2018, or the recent Klute Inc. $3 million expansion. We have helped communities and businesses through technical assistance on numerous programs. Lisa also provides guidance on business planning and market analysis for new and expanding businesses.
YCDC has also worked with developers for housing projects. Prairie Fire Development is one that is creating a workforce housing rental project and is currently under construction. YCDC has provided assistance to the City of York on a Community Development Grant for a Purchase/Rehab/Resale housing program. YCDC works with other York County communities and local contractors on housing projects that are on-going. As we recruit these projects, YCDC investors are the first to be connected with developers who we encourage to work with local contractors.
YCDC partnered with 25 area businesses and individuals, Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s Rural Workforce Housing Loan grant and Nebraska Investment Finance Authority in raising funds to secure a revolving loan fund of $831,000. The first project, a partnership with Messner Development for the grant application will be a market rate apartment complex and will break ground in 2019.
York County has business growth opportunity that will be difficult to meet without growing our population and having the skills matched up to the jobs. In October of 2018, YCDC was awarded the International Economic Development Council’s Educational Partnership Award based on activities with educators. These activities include the manufacturing collaborative to create a manufacturing bootcamp academy to be launched by SCC-York in 2019, Industry Tours, or the annual Regional Career Day are what led to that award. March 2019 was our 5th Career Day, and we were able to have 23 businesses speak with over 200 students from nine area schools. Our Key Note Speaker, Mike Smith, also spoke to all middle and high school students from York County at one of his two presentations.
YCDC takes great pride in their ability to market York County to the world. Through Virtual Reality 360 videos, videos highlighting talent and businesses, social and other on-line media, trade shows, and even print media, York County is being branded. YCDC has VR googles that we lend out to our investors when they go to a trade show, job fair, or are recruiting a new person. One of our newest initiatives is the #WhyYorkCounty which is being used to showcase positive York County activities and to tell York County’s story. We hope that businesses throughout York County will grab onto the #WhyYorkCounty and tell their story of why they are located here.
YCDC is working to bring different partners together, strengthen collaboration, and create opportunities that will result in a higher quality of life along with a broader tax base. YCDC will continue to work to provide services to businesses, to expand our housing opportunities, and to provide service to businesses and communities.