Gov. Pete Ricketts isn’t giving people the business when he talks about Nebraska’s business climate, which is gaining attention nationally.
While on what was called the “Governor’s Cup tour” Thursday during a stop in Norfolk, Ricketts outlined what led Nebraska to capture its third consecutive cup.
The governor also visited the Michael Farms operation in Bloomfield as part of his tour Thursday.
Site Selection magazine awards the trophy to the state with the most economic development projects per capita — and Nebraska dominated the competition. The award is a silver cup that looks big enough to hold a basketball.
Ricketts said he appreciates the investment that Weiland Inc. has made in Nebraska. He thanked company officials for hosting him and a team from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development during their trip Thursday.
“It is companies like Weiland Doors that is making this such a great place to be,” Ricketts said. “It provides great job opportunities for Nebraska families.”
Nebraska had more business projects last year than much larger states, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Oklahoma, Ricketts said.
“We punch way above our weight when it comes to companies investing in our state,” Ricketts said.
He noted that Weiland has invested more than $3 million in its new plant and has added more than a dozen new jobs. He also said Nebraska’s workforce is well educated and includes people who work hard and are loyal.
Rob Haake, chief operations officer at Weiland Inc., said a lot of amazing things are happening in Nebraska and in Norfolk.
Haake said the success comes from employees like those at Weiland and elsewhere in the city and state.
Leon Weiland, founder of Weiland Inc., said the company looks at the strengths of its employees when finding positions for them.
“We never try go get them to do something that they cannot do,” Weiland said.
Some people like to build things. Some people like to talk on the phone. Everyone has a talent, Weiland said.
“We think it is very important that people are doing their God-given talent so that they can always be successful,” he said.
Appropriately enough, to celebrate the Governor’s Cup, Weiland Inc. offered cups of root beer floats to guests and employees before tours were given.
Weiland began in 1984 when Leon Weiland began manufacturing specialty doors for a local processor near his farm by Madison.
It now provides doors for food processors across North America, including stainless steel, molded fiberglass and white metal.