Grand Island, Nebraska — a community with strong ties to our history and an even stronger focus on our future. Grand Island is the fourth largest city in Nebraska, with an estimated population of 49,989.The community also serves residents in much of rural Nebraska including an area of over 20,000 square miles with an estimated population of over 200,000. Incorporated in 1872, Grand Island has a rich history reflected today in the stability of the community and the outstanding quality of life for its residents.
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce welcomes you to our web site where you’ll find a variety of information about our community, our businesses and industry.
To address the need for a trained and prepared workforce, the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce led a community initiative resulting in the development and creation of the Career Pathways Institute. A collaborative effort involving Grand Island Public Schools, Central Community College and the business community, the mission of Career Pathways Institute is to prepare motivated learners for career pathways that lead to employment and continued learning.
Your Grand Island Chamber is proud to be a partner in Grand Island’s growth and prosperity. Your Grand Island Chamber spearheaded efforts to bring the Nebraska State Fair to Grand Island. New venue, new facilities, and a renewed sense of pride in what Grand Island is. This is just the beginning.
The Grand Island Chamber is proud to play an important role in defining what Grand Island is and will become. The Grand Island Chamber — Direction for Business.
We value your input!
As we prepare for 2018, we are interested in learning which of the services we provide are most important to you and your business. To that end, a short survey has been developed. Your participation would be very much appreciated. Please click here to complete the survey.
Low local unemployment rate leads to concerns about seasonal workers
The unemployment rate for the Grand Island Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is low at 2.4 percent, which may be a hindrance to retailers looking to hire seasonal workers, said Cindy Johnson, president of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce.
As businesses are hungry for seasonal workers to meet their demands this holiday season, Johnson said the low local unemployment rate may be an impediment to businesses as they may not be able to fill all of the staff positions they need to make their business run smoothly. Read More
Dramco, CPI partner for state's first registered apprenticeship program
Opportunity knocks for Grand Island Senior High students under age 18 and on Career Pathways Institute’s Adams Street Campus.
Dramco Tool Co. is offering that opportunity through Nebraska’s first registered apprenticeship program. The event was celebrated Tuesday afternoon with a formal signing of an agreement putting the apprenticeship program in place. Read More
Manufacturing big part of Grand Island/Hall County economy
According to the National Association of Manufacturing, manufacturing contributed $2.18 trillion to the economy in 2016, a number that has been on the rise since the second quarter of 2009. Read More
Grand Island hosts Rural Engineering Day
Sixty area high school students from six different schools visited two Grand Island businesses on Thursday for Rural Engineering Day. The students had an opportunity to tour Chief Buildings and Hornady Manufacturing.
The event was sponsored by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, Grand Island Area Economic Development Corp. (GIAEDC), Chief Buildings, Hornady Manufacturing and Miller & Associates. Read More
State Chamber: biggest economic challenge is state's workforce
In a presentation last week by the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the lack of adequate workforce was named as the most significant impediment to economic growth faced by communities across the state. Read More
Chamber plans tours during National Manufacturing Month
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is inviting local business leaders and dignitaries to take tours of area manufacturers as part of National Manufacturing Month.
Business tours will include Dramco Tool Company, Hornady Manufacturing Company and McCain Foods USA. Read More
One big party in Grand Island
A big party was thrown for the state of Nebraska at the Harvest of Harmony Parade on Saturday in Grand Island.
The 76th annual parade, sponsored by Tom Dinsdale Automotive and hosted by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, celebrated the theme “Nebraska, Let’s Celebrate 150 years!” Surely the Cornhusker State would be proud, as the parade had more than 200 entries that included marching bands and floats. Bands came from across the state to perform and compete, as they were judged in the parade. Read More
Gov. Ricketts to be grand marshal of Harvest of Harmony Parade
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday that Gov. Pete Ricketts will be the grand marshal for the 2017 Harvest of Harmony Parade.
This year the parade is an official event of the Nebraska 150 Celebration, which is celebrating Nebraska’s 150th year as a state. Read More
Volunteers step up to help with State Fair
As the Nebraska State Fair is one of the few state fairs that rely solely on a volunteer workforce, it should come as no surprise that hundreds of volunteers are needed to make the event successful.
As many volunteers have put it in the past, “It is such a great feeling to be involved in something so big and to impact so many people.” Read More
Grand Island Prep Academies the next step for education
It was eight years ago when conversations began in earnest about the need and the potential for developing a focused career education program — preparing students for the workforce and not just for college.
Educational and business leaders, along with students and their parents, acknowledged the need for trades education and recognized the career potential for students in these areas, either with further education at a two-year college or with professional certifications. Read More
Retail important part of local ecomony
Are internet retail sales the new “catalog sales” of years past?
As Michael Niemira, principal of the Retail Economist, explains, some communities are losing stores that are not profitable, and the online distribution is filling the gap.
He opines that zero-inventory, high-experience stores, in which customers enter an amazing space, get a brand experience and buy items that are then shipped to them from a distribution center, could become the new model for retail stores, replacing high-inventory stores. Read More
Top 35 Under 35
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for the Chamber's 2018 Top 35 Under 35. This fantastic opportunity identifies young individuals with community commitment and leadership. Being honored as one of the Top 35 Under 35 means that the Grand Island community recognizes the importance of recruiting and maintaining a young professional base of leaders.
Anyone currently between the ages of 21 and 35 who works for and/or contributes to a Grand Island Chamber partner business or organization, has demonstrated professional excellence in his or her field and has a commitment to the community is eligible for consideration. Because our workforce is diverse, we want to highlight a wide variety of occupations and people.Applications for all nominations, including self-nominations, must be submitted by November 22, 2017, to be considered. For more information on Top 35 Under 35, contact Kristin Johnson at email@example.com or 308.382.9210.
Preserving Existing Economic Assets.
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is continuously engaged in identifying potential opportunities for the Grand Island business community. Equally important is our focus on preserving existing economic assets. Husker Harvest Days is one example of growing an idea into an opportunity that resulted in a successful economic engine for Hall County. And, in the near future, we will be working collaboratively with public and private partners to enhance and protect this important asset.
Husker Harvest Days
Husker Harvest Days is the largest working irrigated farm show in the world. More than 35 years ago, community leaders from Grand Island and central Nebraska envisioned an experimental farm show that could be developed as a showplace for agriculture. The Chamber of Commerce’s Agricultural Committee became the catalyst for the conversations and resulting development.
Following site visits to other farm shows in the Midwest, hours spent in discussion and debate, and acquisition of land at the former Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant, Husker Harvest Days was born. A non-profit subsidiary corporation of the Grand Island Chamber known as the Agriculture Institute of Nebraska was formed. This group secured the funding, oversaw the development of leased land so it could be farmed and irrigated, and provided other expertise. The first show was held in 1978.
Now more than three decades later, community leaders are coming together with a goal of modernizing the Husker Harvest Days site. Infrastructure needs, including burial of utility lines, improved site drainage, and paved roads, have been identified. These improvements will ensure that Husker Harvest Days remains one of the top farm shows in the United States. We look forward to reviewing the engineer/architectural plans this fall.
Husker Harvest Days generates a $7.7 million impact on the Hall County economy, according to a recent study completed by Dr. Eric Thompson with the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. The Agriculture Institute of Nebraska commissioned this study in 2013 to determine the economic impact of Husker Harvest Days. The report delineates the various economic activities associated with Husker Harvest Days and considers the spending of over 100,000 visitors who attend the three-day event, and exhibitors who arrive a week in advance to set up their exhibits and to meet with customers. These vendors, exhibitors, and visitors purchase products and services in our community and enjoy dining and other entertainment as well accruing to a $7.7 million impact.
Business First is an outreach program that seeks to facilitate expansions and mitigate layoffs by conducting a series of site visits and surveys with existing business in and around Grand Island.
The Chamber wants to help support our local partners, help solve business concerns and improve the business climate of the community. This program will help local businesses remain competitive and increase local businesses' ability to compete in the global economy.
A BRE (Business Retention and Expansion) Team will be visiting you soon!
Please contact Michala Soundy, Director of Workforce and Community Development, at 308.382.9210 with any questions.
Grow Grand Island
Grow Grand Island Implementation Leaders met on Thursday, April 16 to set the schedule for future meetings for all 39 recommendations. These recommendations were the result of research carried out by Market Street Services, Inc. and Design Workshop, Inc. and the input of thousands from the community. The Implementation Leaders reviewed baseline benchmarks for the recommendations encompassed by six overarching goals which are: advancing job creation; elevating standards of living; improving talent attraction and retention; advancing educational attainment; increasing volunteerism and engagement; and helping existing businesses grow. Specific targets, to be achieved by the year 2020, will be established for each of these goals. If you are interested in serving on one of the implementation committees, fill out the sign up sheet below and return to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
» Phase I: Competitive Assessment
» Phase II: Target Sector Analysis
» Phase III: Business Development Strategy
» Phase IV: Implementation Plan
» Grow Grand Island and Grander Vision Merge
» Sign Up Sheet
About Grow Grand Island - A Grander Vision for the Heartland: The Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corporation and Convention and Visitors Bureau partnered together to hire an economic development firm to create a proactive, five-year, holistic business development growth strategic plan. The plan analyzed Grand Island’s talent pipeline, inter-industry purchases, economic impact analysis, and exports; created a community marketing brand; and guided strategic investment in business and economic development through 2019.
Market Street, the chosen strategic planning contractor, had established its reputation of success throughout the nation. Both the Greater Omaha Chamber and the Greater Des Moines Partnership utilized Market Street in their recent economic development plans, Prosper Omaha and Capital Crossroads, respectively.
"Market Street’s credibility with our key constituents enhanced the development of the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership's five-year strategic plan, Prosper Omaha 2014-2018. Recently, Mac Holladay provided subject matter expertise for a presentation with key economic development investors and leaders from the Nebraska-Iowa metro area as we prepared to launch our new six-county Greater Omaha Regional Economic Development Organization,” said David G. Brown, Omaha’s Chamber's president and CEO.
Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership stated, “Market Street did an excellent job helping us bring together our regional public and private partners at both the grasstops and grassroots level to develop and launch ‘Capital Crossroads: A Vision for Greater Des Moines and Central Iowa.
The business development growth strategy, Grow Grand Island, recently merged with Grander Vision, the City of Grand Island's comprehensive visioning plan, to best utilize available resources. Many of the recommendations from Grander Vision overlapped or aligned with recommendations from Grow Grand Island and this merge assures community organizations and public entities are focused on the same goals.
Web-Based Buyer's Guide
Grow Grand Island is establishing a web-based buyer's guide to promote and encourage business-to-business procurement on a local level in Hall County.
We invite any business to participate in this beginning phase of building the database, which entails capturing your goods and services in the form of keywords via an online questionnaire. Complete the questionnaire!
Keywords should be specific and comprised of 1-2 (maybe 3) words. Phrases and sentences should be avoided. Pre-planning your keywords is encouraged, although your submission can be edited at a later time. To access a free tool to help identify the best keywords, click here.
If you have any questions, please contact Tonja at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Committee members include: Tonja Brown, Jessica Hendricks, Tammy Slater, Tanya Potthoff, Freida Jemison, Michelle Fitzke, Sara Bennett, Jay Wren, Cindy Johnson, Griselda Rendon, and Sandra Barrera.