by jamesc 1/31/2014 11:20:39 AM --
LINCOLN – The president and a member of the board of governors of Northeast Community College are welcoming the announcement that a Texas company will be investing millions of dollars to bring a new major manufacturing plant to Norfolk. “We are pleased that Tejas Tubular will be investing both human and financial capital in our 20 county service area, said Dr. Michael Chipps, president of Northeast. “ Our college will be here to assist Tejas in any way possible to more than just meet their educational and workforce training needs.”
On Thursday, Tejas owner and CEO, Max Tejeda of Houston, TX, joined Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, Sue Fuchtman, mayor of Norfolk, and Dirk Petersen, general manager of Nucor Steel in Norfolk, at a news conference at the state capitol in Lincoln to make the announcement. Chipps was also on hand for the presentation.
Tejas is one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of pipe and accessories in the petroleum industry. This spring, the company will begin to construct a 350,000 square foot manufacturing facility near the new Northeast Industrial Highway in northeastern Madison County, in close proximity to the Nucor Steel Bar Mill. It is expected to employ approximately 200 people.
In addition, it was also announced at Thursday’s news conference that the company decided to locate in Norfolk because Black Hills Energy plans to construct a 50-mile natural gas line from eastern Nebraska to Norfolk to increase natural gas capacity to the area. Inadequate natural gas capacity has been a major issue in attracting new businesses to the region for the last several years.
Tejada credits Petersen in helping to convince him to construct his new plant in Norfolk rather than South Dakota. Tejada, said “He was 100-percent right. I am really duly impressed with Nebraskans’ ability to get things done. That is not the case everywhere.”
Petersen, who is also a member of the Northeast Community College Board of Governors, said both of Thursday’s announcements will impact the region for generations to come. Nucor will be providing more than 150,000 tons of raw materials to Tejas. “We are going to help this country become more and more energy independent by this project,” he said.
Petersen said Northeast Community College will also play a role in this endeavor. “Thanks to Northeast Community College. They are going to be there to help us get the people and the talent we need.”
Chipps said Northeast’s Center for Enterprise (CFE) will be instrumental in assisting companies like Tejas Tubular in their workforce training requirements. “The CFE will provide optimum training opportunities that are tailored to meet the needs of the employer in technical skill development, as well as improving basic workplace skills in areas such as customer service and interpersonal skills, and understanding and deploying the great Midwest work ethic, just to name a few. The CFE will also focus on promoting, leading and growing training to support economic development efforts in the scores of communities served by the college,” he said.
“I am also pleased Black Hills Energy will be increasing natural capacity to our region. This will surely lead to more companies looking at our area to either locate or expand. It is a vital component to making this area more attractive to future development,” Chipps said. “The college will continue to be an integral part of new developments, as timely and high quality training is essential in a successful formula in attracting new business and industry partners.”
Chipps called this opportunity a 'herculean home run' for Norfolk and Northeast Nebraska. “Tejas Tubular’s presence will lead to huge economic dividends for our service area for years to come."