Seward has become the 37th community to earn the designation of Nebraska Economic Development Certified Community from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and Nebraska Diplomats.
“The City of Seward and Seward County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) both have worked extremely diligently to finally achieve this coveted economic development designation,” said Seward Mayor Joshua Eickmeier. “Becoming a certified economic development community is important because it demonstrates our commitment to the future success of Seward and the surrounding communities.”
“The process to become a certified economic development community has assisted the City of Seward, the SCEDC and its economic development partners in being more competitive locally, nationally and globally,” said Jonathan Jank, Executive Director for SCEDC. “It has helped strengthen our county-wide economic development efforts by identifying and bringing together our key stakeholders, assets and infrastructure. This important organizational effort will contribute to our long-term economic development success,” said Jank.
“We are excited to welcome Seward to our growing ‘family’ of Economic Development Certified Communities,” said Nebraska Diplomats President Edy Patterson. “Seward’s due diligence is extremely evident and its commitment to strengthening and growing a healthy regional economy through many dynamic partnerships and projects is an example we definitely want to replicate in every Nebraska community.”
Seward community projects and accomplishments include:
- July 4th CelebrationSeward hosts more than 40,000 visitors annually for the community’s Fourth of July Celebration, which has been held continuously since 1868. Seward is the County Seat and regional trade center hub with unmatched community pride and uniqueness with its vibrant downtown courthouse square business district. The City is proud of its many quality of life attributes, which are a dominant factor in the continued growing population and business trends.
- Concordia University (CUNE) Facility ImprovementsIn 2011, CUNE opened a new $24 million dollar Walz Human Performance Fieldhouse. CUNE is one of the city’s largest employers and continues to grow with more than 2,091 fulltime and part-time students from 43 states.
- Tax Increment Financing (TIF)In 2011, the City unveiled its Tax Increment Financing Program and proceeded to land four successful relocations and expansions including the construction of a downtown sports apparel-sign business building, a new building expansion for an existing sheet metal fabrication business, a new relocation and business building for a hybrid seed corn business and construction of a new 36-room hotel with indoor pool and conference meeting rooms in September of 2012.
- New Middle SchoolIn August of 2012, the Seward School District opened a new $18 million Middle School in the northeast section of the City by Plum Creek Park.
- A 300-acre Seward-Lincoln Regional Rail Campus In partnership with NDED, the City of Seward and local economic development organizations have worked to prepare this site for a future employer or employers. A comprehensive Industrial Review Study has been completed and this Rail Campus is located just south of the Tenneco-Walker Facility on South Hwy 15.
- Trail Enhancement ProjectThe City was awarded a Federal Highway-Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) Trail Enhancement Grant to complete additional five-miles of hiker-biker trail which will complete a fully closed loop system beginning at the Seward-Plum Creek Sports Complex in the northeast section of the City.
- Regional Wellness and Technology CenterThe City is exploring a private/public partnership to redevelopment the Old Middle School property located on Highway 34 near downtown to include a Regional Wellness/YMCA and Technology Center.
- Investing in InfrastructureIn March of 2012, the City completed a $3 million dollar facility upgrade to its Wastewater Treatment Facility and is currently undertaking a Water Plant redundant transmission main project to ensure uninterrupted water access for the City.
- Preparing for Future Economic Development
o Completion of City of Seward Comprehensive Strategic Plan in March of 2013.
o Updated Seward County Labor Supply Study by SCEDC.
o Updated Seward County Comprehensive Strategic Plan by SCEDC.
o Updated Seward County Needs Assessment Survey by SCEDC.
o Updated Seward County Housing Study by SCEDC in July 2013.
o Launched the Seward County Leadership Development program by SCEDC.
For information about the City of Seward or Seward County Economic Development Corporation, contact Jonathan Jank at 402.643.0513, or firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit www.SewardRegional.com or www.CityofSewardNE.com
For information about the Nebraska Economic Development Certified Community program, or a full list of certified communities, visit: http://staging.neded.org/economic-development-certified-community, or contact Christina Bartels at 402-416-0664, 402-471-3172, or Christina.Bartels@nebraska.gov