Now is Time for Companies to Onshore in Mills County
24 Aug 2020
COVID-19 has disrupted supply chains and product deliveries across the nation. For four decades, companies have offshored manufacturing operations overseas in order to save costs, but now onshoring is top of mind for business executives. With 60% of U.S. manufacturing companies surveyed by Thomas reporting COVID-19 business disruptions, this is a widespread issue impacting virtually all industries. The cost of those disruptions may indicate this is the perfect time to change and Mills County is perfectly situated to help.
Onshoring is the logical solution to reducing the risk of future disruptions and delays, at least in part. Though companies may not be looking to move their entire operations back to the United States, opening U.S. manufacturing facilities as part of their global operations certainly is. In that scenario, Mills County certainly has a lot to offer, including logistical advantages of nearby rail and interstate systems, locally-controlled greenfield sites that are virtually shovel-ready for development and access to a skilled labor pool that includes the Greater Omaha Metropolitan Area.
In addition to companies onshoring directly, 28% of suppliers surveyed reported that they are seeking domestic sources. This will create expansion opportunities for current U.S. manufacturers. Mills County is uniquely positioned to support that growth and to be a home to growing companies, or those onshoring for the first time.
Why Companies Should Onshore in Mills County
Available Commercial Sites
Mills County has hundreds of acres controlled by the local Mills County Economic Development Foundation and have documented due diligence including environmental review, grading plans and utility infrastructure. Sites are virtually shovel ready, such as this 455-acre plot in the Eagle Crossing Business Park, which is 10 minutes from the intersection of I-29 and I-80 within the Omaha metropolitan region. Competitive economic development incentives are plentiful in Mills County, such as tax increment financing, Iowa Economic Development Authority tax credits, training grants and research and development tax incentives.
Located in the heart of the country, Mills county provides strong logistical advantages, beginning with quick access to interstates I-80 and I-29, highway IA-34 and four railroads: Union Pacific, Iowa Interstate, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Kansas City Southern. Nearby Eppley Airfield in Omaha has 33 direct flights to major economic centers like San Francisco, Washington D.C. New York City and Los Angeles.
Mills County has a diverse talent pool with a Midwestern work ethic and is part of a growing region with over 1.3 million residents within a 60 mile radius and one of the highest labor participation rates in the country. Workforce education is highly prominent as well, with world-class universities and colleges nearby, including the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Nebraska Medical Center, Creighton University, Iowa Western Community College and Metropolitan Community College.
Reasons to Onshore Now
COVID-19 has demonstrated the scope and scale of the impact a global pandemic can make, but it’s not the only disaster that can disrupt supply chains. Environmental factors are another one. The world has suffered an increase in severe hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, etc. - all things that are unpredictable and cannot be controlled. Unfortunately, many of the same countries where U.S. companies have manufacturing operations have been hardest hit by these disasters and their infrastructure is not secure enough to withstand them. For example, the 2001 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand had crippling effects on the electronics and automotive manufacturing sectors. Put simply - the global supply chain is fragile. Businesses who want to protect themselves must onshore at least part of their operations to protect their interests.
We Can Help
The process of finding a site, obtaining permits, constructing a facility, hiring and training a workforce may seem daunting. We understand and we are here to help. If onshoring is part of your business protection strategy, we can provide assistance throughout the entire process. Contact the Mills County Economic Development Foundation to learn more.
Resources and Further Reading
Learn more about available sites, tax incentive programs, and laborforce data at http://www.millscountyiowa.com/.