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Walker and Pete

Walker Zulkoski, executive director of NGage economic development group for Beatrice and Gage County, poises for a photo with Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts Monday, March 4 while holding the Site Selection Magazine Governor's Cup. In addition to Nebraska winning the cup, Beatrice was named the 14th best micropolitan in the country (higher than any other city in the state) for economic development. 

Nebraska was announced as a winner of the 2018 Site Selection Magazine Governor's Cup for its work in economic development last year.

This is the sixth year Site Selection recognizes the state with the most qualifying new and expanded facilities per capita, which Nebraska claims for its capital investment activity in 2018. Texas also won for having the most qualified projects of any state.

In the magazine's ranking of Top micropolitans, cities of 10,000-50,000 people which cover at least one county, Beatrice ranked the 14th micropolitan in the nation and the highest ranked micropolitan in Nebraska.

Walker Zulkoski, director of the NGage economic development group, said the achievement is something Beatrice and Gage County residents should take pride in, especially considering Beatrice falls on the lower end of the population scale for consideration in the category.

“I think it’s a good third party validation to know good things are happening,” he said. “We work tirelessly every day and when you have a national publication validating your work it speaks volumes that you’re on the right path to success.”

He added that being recognized in the national publication helps efforts to recruit new business to the area.

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“With Site Selection Magazine, their readership is the folks we work with in the industry looking to expand,” he said. “They look at these lists and see the community and the states that are consistently more successful. That puts us at the top of their mind when looking at expansion plans.”

The 65-year-old Atlanta-based magazine has awarded the Governor’s Cup annually since 1988, based on new and expanded corporate facilities as tracked by the proprietary Conway Projects Database.

Site Selection's yearly analyses are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as "the industry scoreboard."

“The Governor’s Cups recognize not only the winning governors, but their entire economic development teams, and by extension, the many professionals throughout their states who work every day to attract new investment and retain and grow existing businesses,” Mark Arend, editor in chief of Site Selection, said in a press release. “Governors Abbott of Texas and Ricketts of Nebraska credit their states’ strong networks of economic development, institutional and business leaders at the city, county and regional levels. They also credit their workforces as their competitive edge, and are taking steps to ensure their supply of labor continues to meet the requirements of investing businesses now and in the future.”

Site Selection’s Conway Projects Database focuses on new corporate facility projects with significant impact, including headquarters, manufacturing plants, R&D operations and logistics sites, among others. It does not track retail and government projects, or schools and hospitals. New facilities and expansions included in the analyses must meet at least one of three criteria: involve a capital investment of at least $1 million, create at least 20 new jobs or add at least 20,000 sq. ft. of new floor area.

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