State of Nebraska honors Schuyler for leadership in Nebraska’s Economic Development Certified Community program.
The State of Nebraska has recognized the City of Schuyler (pop. 6,502) for locally led partnerships to create new housing developments. This week, the Department of Economic Development (DED) honored city officials for qualification in Nebraska’s Economic Development Certified Community (EDCC) program. DED Business Development Consultant Deb Poehling recognized local leaders during Schuyler’s City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 18th.
Schuyler is Nebraska’s 41st community to earn EDCC certification in the program, sponsored by the Nebraska Diplomats and administered by DED. State officials established the EDCC program in 2005 to recognize communities for preparedness to attract new industries and expand existing businesses. Qualifying communities must demonstrate well-defined programs that encourage a supportive environment for economic growth. Successful EDCC’s consistently promote available sites and buildings and create local incentives to develop business and housing opportunities.
Over the past five years, local leaders have prioritized the development of mixed-use housing to retain and grow Schuyler’s diverse workforce. Completion of a 2018 housing study highlighted the community’s need for new and updated units through engagement from area stakeholders, property owners, realtors, and contractors. Study results showed a need for 79 owner-occupied units and 35 rental units by 2025. Since the study’s completion, local and state funding has assisted in the completion of 75 single-family units.
In 2019, Nebraska’s Rural Workforce Housing Fund (RWHF) invested in a 24-unit apartment complex, which was the state’s first ever RWHF investment in multi-family apartments. Completion of the Eastview Apartments marked Schuyler’s first apartment development project in 20 years.
“Recent efforts to build workforce housing continue to have a positive impact on Schuyler residents, as well as those who work in neighboring communities,” said Mayor Art Lindberg. “Since our community qualified for two, $250,000 RWHF grants, we’ve had a great opportunity to jumpstart new development. Projects like these are a great example of why strong relationships between local and state housing leaders are so important.”
Nebraska’s EDCC program encourages the creation of business-friendly environments within qualifying communities. Over the past five years, Schuyler has welcomed four new businesses. In addition, membership in the Schuyler Chamber of Commerce has increased by 25 percent. Downtown revitalization efforts are also underway.
The City of Schuyler will remain certified as an EDCC for the next five years. Nebraska EDCC’s are required to maintain community websites and marketing materials, consistently update available sites and buildings, and implement ongoing strategic planning to encourage economic development.
For additional information on the Economic Development Certified Community Program, contact Ashley Rice-Gerlach at 308-655-0919 or email@example.com, or visit https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/programs/community/edcc/.