Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Andy Long Named New Executive Director

AREA News, News, Photo Feature - 05.29.18

Wishing to create a community with opportunities that his children could one day move back to, McCook Community College Vice-President Andy Long will leave his position at the college to accept the executive director’s position at McCook Economic Development Corp.

Long comes to the MEDC after spending the past five years at MCC where enrollment, retention, and housing occupancy all increased. Long also played a role in restarting the Hormel Entrepreneurship Program, initiating the McCook College Leadership Program, and developing community leadership programs that included bringing motivational speaker John O’Leary to the Fox Theater this past fall.

“MEDC and the community are blessed to have Andy at the helm. He is a proven leader, visionary, and a man of action. He has local connections, Southwest Nebraska roots, a fine family, outstanding values, experience, and education,” said MEDC Board President Dennis Berry.

Long’s focus at MEDC includes three big areas: retail and industrial recruitment, human capital development, and fostering entrepreneurship.

“The past five years, our family has come to love McCook, and I’m thrilled I can play a part in increasing economic opportunities here,” Long said. “Working at the college, I found that I enjoyed the work I did in the community and partnering with area businesses to help meet their educational and training needs.”

Long said that through his position at the college, he was most drawn to working throughout the community, helping local businesses, guiding leadership programs at the college with area students, and developing community leadership and entrepreneurship.

“When I look at what talents and gifts I have, it seems that the things I enjoy the most and could be most successful at were tying the college to the community. This [the MEDC position] was an opportunity that gives me a chance to focus on McCook, on what I do well, and where I can make a difference.”

Long will be transitioning from the college to the MEDC through the month of May and will be full-time with MEDC in June. Through the transition, he will be reaching out to area individuals and businesses to learn more about their needs for economic development. He welcomes hearing from the public and can be reached at (308) 345-1200.

Executive Director May 2018 Update

AREA News, News - 05.22.18

McCook Economic Development Corporation May 2018 Update

By Andy Long

One of my goals as I start my new position as the McCook Economic Development Corporation Executive Director is to be in constant communication with the community. One effort to do this will be a monthly article that comes out the week after our board of directors meets. This is the inaugural monthly article.

I think it is important for you to understand my background as that will play a role in how I approach this job. After I grew up in Grant with my dad being a third generation funeral director, I went to college to study education, taught and coached in Big Springs and Cozad for six years, was a training manager for the Gallup Polls for two years, and have worked in rural community colleges in student affairs for the last ten years.

Based on this experience, I’m a strong believer in improving human capital. Human capital is defined as, “the collective skills, knowledge, or other intangible assets of individuals that can be used to create economic value for the individuals, their employers, or their community.”

During my time at McCook Community College, I’ve met with many local businesses that have open positions they can’t find skilled workers to fill. Our medical facilities are always recruiting medical professionals, our manufacturing facilities continue to look for employees with the right background, and almost every community in Southwest Nebraska has a shortage of individuals in the skilled trades to provide construction, plumbing, HVAC, auto mechanic and other technical skills.

We plan to work with local businesses to help them fill open positions. This can be done by connecting our high school and college students with our local employers to understand the opportunities available locally. This can be done by reconnecting with people who were originally from the McCook area who would return if the opportunity was right. This can be done by providing housing that people looking to relocate for a job want to buy. This can be done by improving our on-line presence to prospective employees from outside our area. This can be done by helping local individuals improve their knowledge and skills to step up into new careers.

This is just one aspect of what we do at the MEDC. We hope to get your thoughts on how we can continue to meet our mission – to facilitate the formation, retention, attraction, and expansion of businesses in McCook and the surrounding area. I’m going to be spending a lot of time in the next couple months reaching out to you to get your feedback. If you would like to set up a time to talk, please call me at 308-345-1200 or e-mail me at

In the monthly article, we also want to give you updates on MEDC projects:

Business Recruitment: The loss of JCPenny did leave a hole in our retail area. There is a committee that has gone through training and now is working on identifying retail businesses that are a good fit for our community and how to attract them to open in McCook.

Entrepreneurship: MEDC plans to work with McCook Community College to host the Hormel Entrepreneurship Program again this fall. Thanks to a grant from the McCook Community Foundation Fund and the Nebraska Community Foundation Fund, this program will be expanded to provide entrepreneurship education and opportunities for the area’s youth.

Housing: Quillan Courts and Clary Village are both full with an extensive waiting list.

Keystone: There is some prime space available in the Keystone as the space in the first floor at the corner of Norris and D is open. We also have other office spaces available primarily intended for start-up and growth businesses. Contact us if you would like to take a look.

Once again, I would encourage you to reach out to us at 308-345-1200 or so we can get your feedback as we continue to facilitate the formation, retention, attraction, and expansion of businesses.

2018 Middle School Health and Wellness Summer Camp Returns!

AREA News, Events, News, Photo Feature - 04.20.18

For the 2nd consecutive year, McCook will be hosting a full 8-week Health, Exercise, Technology & Aquaponics Day Camp Series at the McCook YMCA. These camps will begin at 8 a.m. and end at noon every weekday through the summer. The camp will begin Monday, May 28th and conclude on July 27th.

Students will engage in high energy, consistent lessons and activities to discover the basics of understanding health and wellness, exercise science and the process of growing, tending to, and marketing their own produce. Last year’s instructors, Tyan Boyer and Collin Fleecs, will run the program again with help from an additional instructor, Bradley Schoch.

This camp is geared toward middle school-aged students (approx. 10 to 14 years old). It is strongly recommended that students participate in the entirety of the camp or as much as possible. Click the link below to register! Space is limited and will be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis!

Register Here!

Health and Wellness Middle School Summer Camp

AREA News, Events, News, Photo Feature - 06.01.17

The Rural Futures Institute, the University of Nebraska at Kearney and the community of McCook have partnered to offer a 5-week Health, Exercise, Technology & Aquaponics Day Camp Series during the summer of 2017.

The camps will take place each week from June 12th to July 10th during the morning hours of 8 a.m. to noon at the 4-H Building at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds.

Students will engage in high energy, consistent lessons and activities to discover the basics of understanding health and wellness, exercise science and the process of growing, tending to, and marketing their own produce.

The camp is geared toward middle school-aged students (approx. 10 to 14 years old). The 5 week camp is available for $5 per week. It is strongly recommended that students participate in the full 5 weeks to get the most out of the camp. The cost will be collected at the beginning of each week (Monday).

Click the link below to pre-register as space is limited!

Register Here!