Incentives help local company recruit young professionals to Grand Island
A generation that grew up texting and tweeting is now the largest group in the workforce, and local businesses get creative to recruit millennials, while also taking advantage of local economic development incentives.
That’s what GIX Logistics as done. President Jim Pirnie explains the company acts as the middleman between trucking companies and those with stuff to ship.
“They'll call us, tell us they have a load to ship and we're going to give them a rate and find a truck to supply capacity for that shipper,” he said.
It's work that could be done almost anywhere. But Pirnie wants to grow in his hometown.
He said, “The big thing is we want to grow here in Grand Island and create some new jobs.”
Monitors in the office act as scoreboards to encourage competition, when they're not showing sports highlights.
“It's a different work environment that we're used to,” Pirnie said with a smile.
And one tool that allowed GIX to grow was local taxpayer funded incentives.
Dave Taylor, President of the Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation said that program has been vital.
“Past two years we've been very successful with it,” he said. “We've got four different companies taking advantage of it now. There's a lot of stipulations with it, contracts, we make sure all the stipulations and contracts are accounted for.”
The biggest is Hendrix Genetics, a Dutch company that's invested $40 million in central Nebraska.
Taylor said, “There's ancillary jobs created with every job. There's and excess of another 100 jobs that have been created to the 43 they created.”
Known as an LB840 plan, Grand Island voters have consistently approved the program.
The city sets aside $750,000 a year. Applicants must go through a citizens’ review process and then city council approval.
And if they fail to create jobs, don't get the cash.
For entrepreneurs like Jim Pirnie, it's been another way to keep jobs at home.
He said, “LB840 was a great addition and helped us kick start this business downtown. Really pleased with all the combined effort.”
GIX has added 26 jobs through the program.
The city council unanimously approved funding for the coming year.