|Imperial earns Nebraska Economic Development Certified Community designation|
JULY 16, 2012 (LINCOLN, NEB.)— Imperial has become the 35th community to earn the designation of Nebraska Economic Development Certified Community.
Becoming an Economic Development Certified Community has been a key goal for Imperial’s development program, said Russ Pankonin, Community Redevelopment Chair and Economic Development Team Member.
“This elevates Imperial to a new standard that will be beneficial to our growth in years to come,” Pankonin said.
He also praised the efforts of Leslie Carlholm, Community Development Director.
“Leslie spent countless hours during the past several years, working hand-in-hand with Nebraska Department of Economic Development staff to ensure all necessary steps were completed for Imperial to earn this designation. Without those efforts, this milestone could have never been achieved,” said Pankonin.
Imperial’s projects and accomplishments include:
• Allo Communications, LLC, completed expansion of its Imperial headquarters in 2011, doubling available space. Since its inception in 2002, the company has grown to 40 employees (25 in Imperial) dispersed throughout its multiple locations.
•A Business Coaching and Individualized Assistance Program was added to Imperial’s economic development toolbox in 2010. Thus far, the program has assisted with three business transitions to new ownership, retaining ten jobs; four new business start ups creating 16 jobs; and three businesses accessing customized job training for employees.
•Chase County Schools and Mid-Plains Community College partnered in starting a Career Academy Program in 2008 that offers high school students dual high school/college course credits. Chase County School students who attend a “fifth year” of high school can graduate with both a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree. Other city, school district and community college partnerships include Chase County Career Fairs (2010 and 2011), and Business Bus Tour for Students (2011).
•The City of Imperial and Chase County Schools formed an interlocal agency to move forward with building a combination locker room and bathhouse on school property. The school then built a new athletic field adjacent to the facilty. A municipal swimming pool also was built on the site. The cooperative effort saved hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the entire complex, completed in 2009, is used almost year-round.
•The 70-plus acre Cornerstone Commercial Park is owned by Imperial’s Economic Development Program, and features six light industrial and four highway business district sites. The re-plat, zoning, and infrastructure development design have been completed and efforts are now underway to attract its first company.
•In 2011, a large area of a local senior services complex was restructured into a day care facility, after one of Imperial’s day care centers announced its closure. More than 60 children currently receive day care, preschool, and after school care services at Manor Daycare. Unique programming between the senior complex and daycare gives elderly participants and children a chance to interact during activities that include an adopted grandparent program.
“Imperial’s well-rounded, sensible approach to meeting its community’s growth and development needs is a shining example for all Nebraska communities,” said Jeff Scherer, Nebraska Diplomats president.
The Nebraska Economic Development Certified program, sponsored by the Nebraska Diplomats, is one of a handful nationally that recognize communities’ economic development preparedness. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development administers the application process.