BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) is dedicated to “Helping All People Live Healthy Lives,” all over the world, as is reflected on its website and in its corporate mission. BD reconfirmed this dedication with the grand opening of a second facility in Columbus, Neb. (pop. 20,998), in September 2002.
Headquartered in Franklin Lakes, N.J., BD’s Columbus operations began in 1949, establishing a bedrock in the manufacturing community. BD also operates other Nebraska locations in Broken Bow and Holdrege. BD, a Fortune 500 company, is the worldwide leader in the manufacture and sales of hypodermic needles and syringes, insulin delivery syringes, I.V. catheters and pre-filled systems. The original facility in Columbus was the first facility built outside of BD’s headquarters. BD officials selected Nebraska for its population’s strong work ethic. The original facility employed 15 people and produced glass fever thermometers in a 25,000 sq. ft. plant. Since its inception in 1949, BD Medical Surgical has grown into a 400,000 sq. ft. plant that employs 700 associates. This facility now produces a variety of medical devices, including plastic syringes, safety products and stainless steel needles. The newest addition in Columbus, BD Pharmaceutical Systems, was approximately a $75 million investment. The facility employs 400 people – bringing BD’s total employment to 1,100. The 230,000 sq. ft. plant was designed to produce glass syringes and rubber components, expanding the company’s product lines.
Nebraskans’ strong work ethic, along with financial assistance for job training from the State, were reasons why BD decided to add a second facility in Columbus. Columbus applied for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), which is administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. Governor Mike Johanns awarded Columbus $505,000 in CDBG funding to train employees for a number of specialized positions, including technicians, operators and inspectors. Columbus also received $500,000 in state training funds to provide materials, classroom and on-the-job training for new and existing employees. Of the CDBG funding, one half provided associates with on-the-job training about new machines and processes. In-depth training that focused on the facility’s new manufacturing equipment also was provided for engineers and technical personnel. Employees received intensive training on the Building Management System, the computer network that oversees equipment in the new facility. Some employees participated in college courses to enhance their job performance. The financial assistance granted by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development through the CDBG program “was invaluable in providing training for the associates of the new Pharmaceutical Systems plant. The funding received was a very valuable asset that BD used to improve and sustain the ‘Good Life’ of Nebraska,” said Jamie Weger, plant manager of BD Pharmaceutical Systems.
Northeast Nebraska Development District (Grant Partner)
111 South 1st Street
Norfolk, NE 68701
Dave Honz (DED Representative)
(402) 471-3763 • (800) 426-6505