Nebraska governor signs $335M Economic Recovery Act

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 7:47 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Political leaders and leaders of north and south Omaha gathered Thursday on the Fort Omaha campus to celebrate the passing of the $335 million Economic Recovery Act that will bring much needed funds to the area.

“Today we are here to celebrate landmark legislation that will have a generational impact,” said Gov. Ricketts.

“This is the first time ever that our state has invested this amount of dollars into our community it’s historic from that standpoint, but it’s also a little scary because now the work begins,” said Sen. Justin Wayne.

“It was one of the things that drove me to run for office is to change the economic landscape of north Omaha,” said Sen. Terrell McKinney.

But Osie Combs president of Pacific Engineering Incorporated says his company is already working and have made plans to be a part of economic growth in north Omaha.

“Therefore PEI has already started, we will be opening up the first phase in August September of this year starting the transformation to make this a reality,” said Osie Combs Jr.

Retired rear admiral Combs plans to rent a space in North Omaha to start training future workers, before expanding his operations to the future business park that will be located south of the Storz Parkway.

PEI is a manufacturing company and a defense contractor. Currently, Pacific Engineering operates out of a 75,0000 square foot facility with around 30 employees.

They plan to expand and bring good-paying jobs to Omaha.

“We’re talking jobs north of $50,000, we’re talking good high tech jobs and that’s why we need the right skill sets.”

Early in the pandemic, people lined up at Metropolitan Community College’s Fort Omaha campus to get tested for or vaccinated to fight against COVID.

The company built the portable medical platform or pods that were used for COVID testing and vaccinations.

Combs says these pods can be repurposed.

“When we think of the number of emergencies that occur across the world certainly we’re in a crisis today for humanitarian purposes it would be nice to repurpose those, change the design, the configuration, you can use racks and we call in the Navy berths compartments where you can house a family of three or four on a temporary basis.”

Combs plans to have 100 employees when he expands in Omaha with 40% of workers coming from North Omaha.

PEI is one of the first of four companies that have made commitments to build in the future business park.

“It was a natural fit for this historical moment, it was already in our growth strategy and so when the opportunity came and we were approached about it said this was a natural fit.”

Combs also says Pacific Engineering is excited to be a part of this moment and to once again bring help to the North Omaha community.

“Take it to the people because we care so if I need a workforce and I need a skill set, develop an opportunity in North Omaha, it’s that simple.”

Pacific Engineering first plans to lease a building in North Omaha to begin training its future employees, which should start in late summer or early fall.

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