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.
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 Freida Jemison, Partnership Services Coordinator, at 308.382.9210 with any questions.
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.
July Direction for Business
July Direction for Business highlights: Virtual Tour of Grand Island, Connection Point, and Workplace Wellness. Read more.
Grand Island - Central to Success
Young Professionals given big picture strategies in CEO meeting
Scott Rief of Active Family Chiropractic said he thought he was rambling Tuesday morning, but his audience of eight young professionals heard piece of advice after piece of advice. The Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals visited the office for an hour Tuesday morning for their “Breakfast With a CEO” event to hear about Rief’s business strategies and path from shingling roofs in high school to owning his own chiropractic practice. Read more.
Bosselman thinks outside the box to recruit
With unemployment at an all-time low in Hall County (2.8 percent last month), companies like the Bosselman Cos. have to come up with some new resources and techniques to recruit top talent. Bosselman jumped at the opportunity to meet great people (and potential employees) at the Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce’s upcoming job fair at the Hall County Fair July 16 through 19. Being able to see and touch potential candidates is a rare and effective opportunity. Read more.
4-H National Shooting Sports Championship Brings Economic Boost
Over 1,000 people gathered at the Heartland Public Shooting Park starting Monday, and the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce says it can add up to a quarter million dollars to the city's economy. It happens quite often when large events come to town, and it's something the chamber planned for. Chamber of Commerce president Cindy Johnson says they wanted to create a venue that would be used year round. Read more.
GI Chamber Announces Job Fair to Assist Local Employers’ Recruitment Efforts
The Grand Island Chamber is pleased to announce the installment of a job fair at the Hall County Fair to assist businesses in their recruitment efforts. This will provide an exclusive opportunity for a Chamber business partner to directly market themselves to potential employees, increase brand awareness, meet non-traditional candidates, and network with other companies. Read more.
Join us for Journey 2040
If you live or work in Grand Island then you're sure to have an opinion on transportation issues. Grow Grand Island and the Chamber want to hear from you! Insight gained from Journey2040 will assist efforts with the Grow Grand Island Transportation Initative (5.13) so join us at the meeting on June 29 or share your comments online at journey2040.digicate.com. Read more.
June Direction for Business
June Direction for Business highlights: Chamber Job Fair, SkillsUSA, and Business Challenge for Nebraska State Fair volunteers. Read more.
Bosselman Aims to Become "Google" of Grand Island
"We've got a lot of different plans we're looking at for the facility and it's a big project. It's going to take a lot of time but we see a lot of opportunity here," said Bosselman CEO, Charlie Bosselman. Bosselman Companies has been in Grand Island since it was created in 1948. The company plans to relocate and revamp their headquarters, starting with a move to the south location of Skagway. Read more.
Seminar highlights importance of changing workforce dynamics
A Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce seminar on Wednesday highlighted the dynamics of intergenerational workforces and what it takes to recruit and retain top talent. Read more.
Council says Highway 281/Husker Highway land is blighted
It looks like Grand Island’s welcome mat is in for an upgrade. The 10-member Grand Island City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to declare the southwest corner of Highway 281 and Husker Highway as blighted and substandard — a declaration that makes development assistance available on the 116 acres. Read more.