Blair, Nebraska is quickly becoming known as the small town that can attract big business.
The latest to start production is the bio-technology firm Novozymes. The businesses going to Blair are positioning the town for big growth.
With just a twist of the wrist Blair Mayor Jim Realph and Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman started the fermentation process at Novozymes’ $200M Blair facility.
The bio refinery campus has insulated Blair from tough economic times.
Mayor Jim Realph says, "Most of the country is in a bad situation job-wise. I think the last I looked our unemployment rate was below 3% so if you want a job it's here in Blair."
What may sound like boasting to some rings true in Blair. Construction of the plant brought money into Blair its operation is expected to benefit the community even more.
Randy Backman says, "When they're building it you have a lot more part-time help in town, people just passing through and building it. Now we're going to have a more stable clientele and people living here."
The people employed by Novozymes will be processing microbes into enzymes that help in the production of ethanol.
The bio-fuel industry is expected to grow quickly and Blair is in a position to benefit financially.
John Kecy says, "They still have their parades and they still have their small town atmosphere but at the same time I think they're adapting to change with the growth of the community."
Kecy says he expects Blair to keep the small town feel just with more economic opportunity.
Novozymes follows a couple of other big businesses into Blair's bio refinery campus. Cargill, Evonik and Purac are already established businesses.
Mayor Realph expects a total of around $2-billion dollars invested by businesses on the bio campus.