Lexington, NE – The New Market Tax Credits helped Orthman Manufacturing to construct an 115,000 square foot farm equipment manufacturing facility in Lexington, Nebraska. Orthman is located in Lexington, NE which resides in Dawson County. Dawson Area Development, Dawson County’s Development Authority created an economic development plan to attract businesses that specialize in the area of farm machinery and farm equipment. Orthman became the anchor business in the Lexington Industrial Park, serving as a catalyst for other businesses to relocate to Dawson County.
This new facility allowed Orthman Manufacturing to retain/create 157 jobs in an economically depressed area, while creating catalytic growth of 200 indirect full-time jobs, and increasing local wages by roughly 55%. Orthman’s is a short line manufacturer of farm equipment and implements, including the 1tRIPr strip-tillage machine and Tracker implement steering system, as well as a maker of conveyor and materials bulk-handling systems, and SoilMover industrial earth-moving equipment.
The Orthman Manufacturing headquarters sits on the original farmstead of founder Henry Orthman. This expansion project will generate $10 million in annual value added to the tax base and $18 million in annual economic activity. This company has a long-standing tradition of valuing employees, who are given opportunities for professional development, career advancement and tuition reimbursement.
RDP believes that creating quality jobs is an important impact of our NMTC investment, but we know that providing a job is sometimes not enough. Our partners are asked to consider opportunities in their community that compliment jobs by addressing the needs that support LIPs in the categories of workforce training, workforce recruitment, and workforce retention. We allow room for creativity and flexibility of individual communities to make locally-focused recommendations for CIP investments to create a win-win-win for the community, the QALICB (Qualified Active Low-Income Community Business), and RDP through alignment with our vision and mission.
Orthman Manufacturing partnered with RDP and the local high school and community college to create a workforce development and job training facility. The overall budget was $350,000 of which Rural Development Partners and Orthman Manufacturing provided $90,000. The high school utilizes the building for welding classes, the college has adult classes, and local businesses use it for training. This is a multi-use facility which also met the need for a meeting center. The high school instructor has a passion for the courses taught, and he motivated many students to consider careers in the trades.