Targeted Business & Industry

The Regional Economic Development Strategic Plan is a blueprint that was created to capitalize on the strengths of the region and serves as a foundation for the recruitment of targeted industry. The economic development approach focused on:

Each of the industries within the sub-tabs is targeted industries based on existing industries within this region that are vital for future economic and workforce development activities. Please Contact Us if you would like additional information on bringing your business industry to Western Nebraska.


Due to its prominence in the regional economy and culture, agriculture has been called the backbone of the Scottsbluff – Gering Region by its citizens and leaders. The agribusiness, food processing, and technology cluster are important to the entire state, but because of its concentration in the Scottsbluff – Gering Region, it has significant importance. Due to both proximity to raw materials and a strong west coast customer base, a region is a notable place for this industry cluster to prosper.

The area has its roots in agriculture and is still an agribusiness community because of the fertile valley of the North Platte River. Cattle, grain, sugar beets, and beans are produced here and shipped globally. Agriculture drives our economy.


Health Services is a widely spread industry cluster, though not yet highly specialized in any regional grouping of Nebraska. It is identified as the number six primary cluster driving Nebraska’s economy, according to Battelle’s Competitive Advantage Assessment for Nebraska (2010). Both the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the State of Nebraska Labor Market Information Office project the strong recent growth in health services to continue with above-average employment gains through 2018. These projections are consistent with past employment trends within this sector and highlight a continued need for healthcare.

Advanced Manufacturing & Precision Metals

Advanced manufacturing and precision metals is an important industry cluster in the United States, responsible for over $2 trillion of output into the economy in 2013. In many states, including Nebraska, this industry is a top attraction and the focus of many expansion initiatives. Due to the prominence of existing companies, this industry cluster has a significant impact on the regional economy. The Scottsbluff – Gering Region also has good potential for many types of manufacturing operations, particularly those tied to agriculture, mining/drilling, and possibly renewable wind energy-related manufacturing (e.g., nacelle units, gearbox, generator and transformer components, and blade assembly). Markets for the steel building industry are mostly international, making the growth and retention of manufacturing activity and cutting-edge products paramount to this region. More specialized technical training will help to ensure the future success of this industry cluster in the region.

Western Nebraska has rail, facilities, and the infrastructure to support new industry. Through state incentive programs from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and local LB840 funds, new and expanding industries continue to develop and prosper in the area.

Plastics & Chemicals

Plastics and chemicals represent a major industry for the United States. In 2012, the U.S. plastics industry employed 892,000 workers at 15,949 facilities and invested $9.6 billion in new capital equipment – an increase of nearly $1 billion over 2011. Currently, chemicals rank second in Nebraska’s manufacturing sectors. Nebraska produces more than $1.3 billion in output from chemicals such as fertilizer, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals, while the Scottsbluff – Gering Region Shed shows a proportional intensification of the industry. Likewise, plastics make up a large part of the region’s manufacturing sector.


Many retail sectors have located to Western Nebraska, and because of the many resources that are beneficial to these sectors, we continue to see robust growth in the area of retail. Access to major highways, a large trade area, and growing demand are just a few of the reasons that retailers like Target, Wal-Mart Supercenter, Hobby Lobby, and Walgreen’s have discovered the impact of locating to this region. It is because of this demand that we are especially targeting Department Stores, Clothing Stores, and Restaurants as retailers of interest.