Archive for the ‘AREA News’ Category

McCook Employee Recruitment Video Available to Local Organizations

AREA News, Events, News, Photo Feature - 08.21.18





In an effort to assist businesses who recruit workers from outside the area, the McCook Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) released a McCook Recruitment Video to improve the on-line presence for prospective employees. The four minute video features area amenities and testimonials of individuals who are proud to live, work, and play in the McCook area.

The idea of the video was initially formed by former Executive Director Andrew Ambriz and Acme Printing and Design owner Jared Muehlenkamp. Lexi Gross, who is studying Media at Fort Hays State University, was hired as a summer intern to capture the material and develop the video.


Andy Long, MEDC Executive Director said, “For the last couple years, I have heard from major employers who said it was difficult to attract qualified candidates to McCook. When all you see is a little dot on a map, it is hard to attract candidates. We can use this video to help us put our best foot forward and highlight the great quality of life found in southwest Nebraska, it helps make the right first impression to people considering employment here. Coordinating this effort seemed like a great way to provide a service to area employers.”


MEDC welcomes businesses and to link or embed the video on their website that can be found here: If anyone has questions or needs the code to embed the video, they can contact Andy at or 308-345-1200.

MEDC launches internship and mastermind programs.

AREA News, Events, News - 07.24.18

McCook Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is holding two information sessions on August 1 at 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the Keystone 3rd Floor Training Room to introduce their Mastermind and Internship Programs.

Each session will be about an hour long and food will be included, along with a presentation, and information on the new programs.

Individuals will have a chance to get food and visit with others in attendance at the start of the meeting. Then, Lindsay Hastings, the Executive Director of the Nebraska Human Resources Institute, will be giving the program talking about leadership transitions in rural communities. After the presentation, information will be given on the new MEDC programs.

Both programs work to help develop human capital in the McCook area. The mastermind program is looking to establish 2-3 groups of 8-12 people that meet weekly to invest in each other. Group meetings take place either before work or over the lunch hour and will include book discussion, leadership development, and the opportunity to grow together.

The internship program builds on the success of the Rural Futures Interns hosted in McCook the last three years. MEDC will work to connect local high school and college students with area businesses who are looking for summer interns. MEDC will also provide training and follow up with the interns throughout the summer to make it a meaningful experience.

The event and food are free, but MEDC requests you make reservations by July 30 by contacting Angela at or 308-345-1200.

For more information on the mastermind program click here:

For more information on the intern program click here:

Executive Director July 2018 Update

AREA News, News - 07.24.18

I’ve always been interested in history and biographies. One of the most interesting biographies I read was, Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson. Franklin lived an amazing life as a printer, inventor, scientist, politician, and diplomat. He helped draft the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris.  I read biographies not just to learn about an interesting individual, but also see what I can learn from and apply from the life of the person.

One part of Franklin’s life that intrigued me was how he learned about his profession. At the age of 12, Franklin became an apprentice of his brother James at a print shop. Through this experience Franklin learned about newspaper publishing and eventually became a printer.

From my own experience, the best experience I had in college was working at the Office of Admissions and for UNL’s summer orientation program. I learned about the world of work, but also through the job I was given ownership of my own projects, which included writing the curriculum for campus tours at the university. This experience helped lead me into higher education administration nearly a decade ago.

We would like to help more local students with internships. Throughout the next school year, we will be recruiting businesses and students to participate in internships next summer. As a part of the internships, we plan to give the students two days of soft skills training at the start of the internship and work with the students every two weeks throughout the summer to help them develop. We hope to connect students at the high school and college with opportunities that will bring them back to McCook after finishing their education.

A second part of Franklin’s life that really interested me was the Junto Club. When Franklin was 21, he and a group of friends founded the Junto Club. This group of 12 tradesmen and artisans met every Friday evening to discuss a variety of topics. The Junto was a launching pad for ideas that improved the community including the first lending library, University of Pennsylvania, volunteer militia, and Pennsylvania Hospital.

Currently, I’m a part of a Catalyst group, where the Sherwood Foundation helps individuals get together every other month to grow and learn with each other. I also attend a men’s group almost every Wednesday morning at my church. These small groups provide me with an opportunity to grow and learn and also support in challenging times and opportunities to celebrate during good times.

We would like to start the process of forming some local mastermind groups. These are groups that will meet weekly before work or over lunch and read leadership books, provide support for each other, and help in the growth and development of each other. We have a strong leadership program through Southwest Nebraska Leadership Institute and this is a program that gives individuals an opportunity to keep the personal growth ongoing after a great one year experience. I believe based on what I’ve read and seen from a variety of groups similar to this, we can continue to grow the next generation of community leaders.

We are hosting an event to provide more information on both the internship and mastermind programs at a MEDC Fiesta on August 1 from 12:00-1:00 p.m.  or 5:00-6:00 p.m. at the Keystone 3rd floor training room. There will be food, a presentation from Lindsay Hastings from the Nebraska Human Resources Institute, and more information on our mastermind and internship programs. If you would like to attend, please RSVP by Friday, July 27 so we have enough food by e-mailing or calling 308-345-1200. If you have any questions, please contact me at or 308-345-1200.

Retail Incubation Space in the Keystone Now Available

AREA News, Events - 06.28.18

McCook Economic Development Staff Andy Long and Angela Allen stand outside the ‘Retail Incubator’ at the Keystone Business Center ready to welcome the first tenant.

McCook Economic Development launches Retail Incubator at the Keystone

McCook Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has launched its Retail Incubator program to help individuals thinking about opening their own retail business in McCook. The program allows individuals to rent the 578 square foot space in the Keystone on the first floor on the corner of Norris and D. Individuals can sign up for a six month lease for a total of $1,200. At the end of the six months, individuals then will need to find a permanent retail space in the community to continue their operations.

To qualify for the Retail Incubator space, individuals need to complete a business plan, meet with a retail mentor organized through the MEDC, and pay the entire rent up front. If individuals need financial help to get started, they can use their business plan to apply for a loan from the Revolving Loan Fund.

“We’ve got great unique retail businesses in McCook. To remain the hub of retail in Southwest Nebraska, we need to help local individuals with a retail dream get started. The Retail Incubator program allows individuals to test a retail idea they have on a trial basis. The additional coaching can help individuals work out the details so they can get a successful start,” said Andy Long, MEDC Executive Director.

For more information click here or contact the MEDC at 308-345-1200 or