Norfolk stands as a hub for agriculture, manufacturing, education and services (retail, wholesale and healthcare) for a six-county region.
We credit much of our success to our superior labor force: 78 percent of the citizens in Madison County have a high school diploma or higher. And thanks to a unique facility known as the Lifelong Learning Center, located on the campus of Northeast Community College, professionals can access a 20,000-square foot educational wing complete with two distance-learning classrooms, a computer center for software training and a conference center that holds up to 700 people. Companies take advantage of the opportunity to provide fresh training and new skills, as well as tap into the associate degree programs offered here through Northeast Community College. Professionals can also obtain a master’s degree from Wayne State College and the University of Nebraska, as both are represented on the Northeast Community College’s campus.
Our state as a whole boasts lower-than-average unemployment, workers’ compensation insurance rates (Norfolk businesses spend only 71.5 percent of the national average) and a right-to-work climate. Approximately 3.5 percent of Norfolk’s non-agricultural work force holds a union contract. Fringe benefits range from 14 to 40 percent of wages.
More than a dozen financial institutions offer branches in Norfolk, each willing to discuss loan details with emerging entrepreneurs. Nebraska Public Power District provides electricity at rates lower than surrounding states, while Aquila distributes natural gas to the region. Qwest handles the bulk of digital communications, including Point of Presence, DSL broadband connections and fiber optic to your door; AT&T also established a presence in Norfolk in the 1990s to provide WATS, 800 and MultiQuest services. The water system features two water treatment plants with a combined pumping capacity of 10,000 gallons per minute or 11.5 million gallons per day. Private haulers handle solid waste collection for commercial establishments and the private sector.