It’s an honor to have stepped into the executive director position this spring with Gage Area Growth Enterprise, a.k.a. NGage.
NGage is the economic development organization created to serve Beatrice and Gage County. Its general mission is to support effective use of resources in promoting economic growth.
As a Gage County native, the opportunity to serve local businesses /industry and individuals that have an interest in starting, growing and/or supporting businesses is fantastic.
Through my career, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the development of businesses all across Nebraska, but nothing can beat focusing my time and effort here now. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes the interest and support of many to create opportunities here for residents and businesses. Being collaborative and positive is the attitude that I believe will serve us best.
There were seven strategic activities outlined by the NGage board as it was started two years ago. Noted here are just a couple of recent actions or current activities that relate to NGage’s list of strategic activities. While the list of ongoing activities is long and grows every day, noted are a couple of relevant activities to give you an example of what NGage is doing.
• Networking with other area economic developers and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development to coordinate information and marketing efforts of our community and area.
• Getting to know business and industry leaders and company managers while establishing a base line of information regarding current employment numbers, training needs, services and resources that may be needed if they may look to expand.
• Responding to inquiries that one of our economic development partners may send our way from companies looking for facilities or sites to develop here.
• Helping business and manufacturing leaders join efforts with educators to help improve job readiness and workforce skills.
• Participation on Action Council, coordinating efforts with representatives from the City, Beatrice Area Chamber, Beatrice Main Street, NGage, along with others, discussing how we best work together on projects of community improvement and economic growth.
• Attending council and village board meetings in Beatrice and Gage County communities along with other community organizations, providing information about NGage, listening and discussing local economic development ideas and needs.
• Assisting and connecting resources for individuals interested in starting or growing their own small business here.
• “NGaging” in programming that can help make positive change. For example, we’ve signed on with the University Extension program called ECAP – Entrepreneurial Community Activation Process. NGage, in collaboration with ECAP facilitators, Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce, Beatrice Main Street, and interested individuals will utilize this program to work on improving support for innovation and entrepreneurial activities here.