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Phelps County, NE Named 'Top Rural County 2020'

Phelps County, NE Named 'Top Rural County 2020' Main Photo

20 Sep 2021


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This article originally appeared on Phelps County Development Corporation and was written for the Phelps County Development Corporation by Golden Shovel Agency.

In a year where many communities struggled — let alone rural ones with their unique challenges — Phelps County, Nebraska, achieved significant economic development success thereby earning it a “Top Rural County 2020” ranking by Site Selection Magazine

In the United States, there are 1,287 counties that can be considered rural. To determine rankings, counties that merited inclusion in the Conway Projects Database — which tracks significant capital investment, job creation, and physical buildout by corporate end users — were mined to determine the number of active projects. The most qualifying projects in a single rural county was six, a distinction shared by Phelps County and only one other, Marion County, South Carolina. Only eight rural counties registered more than two qualifying investments. Nineteen states had no rural counties with any significant projects.

In all, the six total Phelps County projects from Briggs and Stratton, Industry Equipment LLC, Planter Worx LLC, Ruralmed Management Resources, and two from Becton, Dickinson & Co., topped $119.6 million in capital expenditure and translated into 147 jobs.

Breaking it down, the two separate investments in 2020 by Becton Dickinson — one of the world’s largest producers of insulin syringes —  totaled $110 million. Becton Dickinson arrived in Holdredge, NE, in 1966 and is now the county’s biggest employer and a serial investor in the town with capital expenditures of more than $200 million over the past five years.

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