WATCH NOW: Siouxland named first place for economic development as Governor Ricketts stops in South Sioux City | national news
SOUTH SIOUX CITY – Call it a hat-trick.
On Tuesday morning, business representatives and elected officials from across Siouxland gathered at the Marriott Riverside to South Sioux City to hear an outgoing Nebraska speech Governor Pete Ricketts and to learn that, for the third year in a row and tenth time overall, the Tri-State Area has been named a top spot for economic development by “Site selection” magazine.
Sharing the news, publication editor Adam Bruns said, “The spike in projects (in Siouxland) is really huge.” A press release for the event noted that one of the contributors to the designation was Ag Processing Inc.’s $71.5 million expansion of its Port Neal soybean crushing plant near Sergeant Bluff. Several company executives, including CEO Chris Schaffer, were on hand for the announcement.
bruns said Site selection makes its designations by counting projects that include: new construction, an investment of at least $1 million, the addition of 20,000 new square feet of space, and the creation of 20 or more jobs.
During his time on the podium, Ricketts, who was introduced by Siouxland Initiative President Mike Wells, shouted AGP and said his condition had seen record years for corn and soybean production. As people ate their muffins and rolls, Ricketts went on to note that Nebraska was competing with South Dakota for the top prize. labor force participation rate in the countryside.
“When you have good job opportunities, kids are taken care of,” Ricketts said.
Due to Nebraska’s current economic activity, Ricketts said now is the time to give money back to people by: providing property tax and Social Security “relief” and bringing home tax rates down. taxation at less than 6%. Of those plans, the governor said, “When we can be more competitive on taxes, that pushes us to do better.”
Looking ahead, Ricketts said the state should continue to find more people to participate in its workforce. To do this, Ricketts pioneered the idea of further strengthening apprenticeship programs and working closely with community college students. At one point, Ricketts even pointed to the work South Sioux City Community Schools had done to prepare their students for future work.
The Sioux City metropolitan area ranked first in the nation for development in its population category (less than 200,000) in 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2020.
“This award is a collective recognition of the collaboration and cooperation that our Siouxland Tri-State Area and the Siouxland Initiative have fostered for nearly three decades,” Chris McGowan, President of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce noted.
Jared McNett is an online editor and reporter for the Sioux City Journal. You can reach him at 712-293-4234 and follow him on Twitter @TwoHeadedBoy98.