Nebraska Economic Development Leaders Open South Omaha Office

This story was originally published in the Nebraska Examiner.

OMAHA. Spurred on by leaders in South Omaha and an avalanche of state dollars that seem to be heading into the area, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development has opened a satellite office in South Omaha.

State Economic Development Director Anthony Goines said he was considering adding a “strategic presence in South Omaha” even before lawmakers passed Proposition 1024 last year, which earmarks about $335 million, mostly for North and South Omaha.

La Plaza de la Raza along the South 24th Street corridor at N Streets is among the neighborhoods recommended for ARPA funding. (Cindy Gonzalez/Nebraska Examiner)

But he said the expected financial injection has accelerated the move to open a DED satellite site at the Automotive Learning Center on the Metropolitan Community College campus near 30th and Q Streets.

Bilingual staff

“The goals of the office are to promote economic integration, create high-paying jobs, and support the overall growth of South Omaha,” Goins said. He called Metro a key partner.

An employee, Elizabeth Blanco, currently works in the office, according to DED.

As of April 2021, North Omaha has a state economic development satellite office.

Goines said in a statement that the South Omaha office will support development and work with businesses and community leaders to further identify needs. He noted that the state has other programs and funding sources designed to stimulate growth.

“South Omaha is home to one of the largest concentrations of small businesses in the state of Nebraska,” Goines said, adding that the employee speaks both English and Spanish to “best serve the community.”

Armando Salgado of marketing company LingoDocs and co-founder of the Hispanic Economic Development Council has been at the forefront of efforts to build an office more connected to the community. He said the new field office was a “great start” in trying to get more support not only from the state, but also from Douglas County and the city of Omaha to energize the workforce and grow the business.

Public hearing ahead

Also known as the Economic Recovery Act, LB 1024 is largely funded by federal ARPA legislation designed to support Nebraska communities impacted by COVID-19.

The government consultant’s report released a distribution plan for $225 million of total LB 1024 funding recommending grants to 35 recipients in South and North Omaha who have submitted applications outlining their respective plans to develop the local economy through construction projects, job development. and housing.

Public hearings on the recommendations in the Legislative Assembly’s City Affairs Committee have not yet been scheduled. The entire Legislative Assembly must then sign the distribution plan. Once approved, the funds will be distributed at the end of the summer.

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