LINCOLN – On Monday, Governor Pete Ricketts accepted Site Selection Magazine’s “Governor’s Cup” for the third consecutive year. This prestigious award is presented to states that have demonstrated the most outstanding economic development achievements in the nation over the past year. Nebraska received the Governor’s Cup for having the most economic development projects per capita in the United States in 2018.
“This third win in a row once again confirms that Nebraska is one of the best places in the world to do business,” said Governor Ricketts. “We continue to lead the nation in new investment, job creation, and business expansions. Our talented workforce, our great communities, and our outstanding leadership across the state all contributed to this tremendous victory. Together we’ll continue to work to keep growing Nebraska in 2019.”
Site Selection is known as the senior publication in the corporate real estate and economic development fields, and its yearly analyses are regarded by experts as an industry scoreboard.
Not only did Nebraska receive top honors again this year, but the Omaha-Council Bluffs (NE-IA) metro area repeated its achievement of being the nation’s top metropolitan area for corporate facilities expansion in their respective population group. The Sioux City (IA-NE-SD) metro area came in third place in the category of metro areas with populations of less than 200,000. Lincoln also climbed in the national rankings, achieving the fourth most capital investment projects of any metro area having a population between 200,000 to one million — a full five spots higher than last year’s ranking.
At the national level, Nebraska’s victory is attributed to 118 capital investment projects in 2018 — which surpassed the state’s 2017 winning tally by eight and its 2016 total by 17. Billions of dollars in new investments contributed to this year’s three-peat victory. A few examples include:
- Facebook’s billion-dollar-plus new data center in Omaha
- Veramaris’ $200 million facility investment in Blair
- Becton Dickinson’s $200 million in new investments in its Nebraska facilities.
- i2c’s new operations center in Omaha
- Michael Foods’ $150 million investment in Bloomfield
Throughout 2018, Nebraska was also nationally-recognized for business-friendly rankings, including:
- #1 for fiscal condition (Mercatus Center)
- #2 for regulatory environment (Forbes)
- #3 for wage growth (U.S. DOL / Washington Post)
- #4 for workforce participation rate (U.S. News & World Report)
- #5 for best states for business (Forbes)
- #6 for volunteerism (CNCS)
- #7 best state overall (U.S. News & World Report)
During an announcement at the State Capitol, Nebraska Department of Economic Development Director Dave Rippe expressed appreciation for the Governor’s ability to rally Nebraskans around a vision of economic growth. He also said partnerships were one of the main factors contributing to Nebraska’s continued economic successes.
“Our talent for working together is one of the great advantages that sets us apart from other states,” Director Rippe said. “Our communities, workforce, government, and economic development leaders have all been committed to growing Nebraska and creating a welcoming environment for businesses. There’s no limit to what we can achieve in the future.”
“Nebraska agriculture experienced growth in production and investments across the entire state,” said Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman. “Our farmers and ranchers continue to lead the U.S. in several production categories while Nebraska’s high quality food, feed, and fuel serves the needs of our consumers domestically and internationally.”