The City of Ord, which pioneered one of the first and few programs of its kind in the country, has now become the first community on the list to earn re-certification approval for a second time. The program is the Nebraska Economic Development Certified Community Program, sponsored by the Nebraska Diplomats and administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.
Ord has come a long way since earning its certification in 2005 and its first recertification in 2008. Over the last 13 years, public-private investment has surpassed $121 million dollars. Dozens of community improvement projects have been completed, including a newly renovated downtown, new primary employers in ethanol production and export-based manufacturing, a new hospital, a newly renovated school, a new fire hall, a new housing development, two industrial parks, a beautiful and newly renovated walking trail, fishing pond and dock at Aubles, a newly renovated county courthouse, a planned swimming pool, and so much more.
In my short time living and working in Ord, I have encountered dozens of young couples who have recently moved back to raise their families and enjoy a fulfilling professional life. New businesses are opening and existing businesses are expanding. The Good Life is alive and well in Ord, Nebraska.
My friends, forget not how fortunate we are to live in such a place. This is a place where residents, businesses, and elected officials reinvest their dollars and themselves into the community. We don’t do this on a hunch that it will all work out. Rather, as evident in the position we currently find ourselves in, we know that by investing in ourselves, our neighbors and our community, we are investing in the future for our children and the generations to follow.
So take a moment, pat yourself on the back, folks. Be proud to live in what the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have identified as a role model for rural development. Want more good news from the Valley? Stay tuned; in the weeks ahead we will be releasing our annual report which will include this and many more stories celebrating the successes, people and places of Valley County.