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OPPD nets national economic development award

September 15, 2021 | Jason Kuiper | economic development, public power

For the fifth straight year, OPPD has been selected as one of the nation’s top utilities by Site Selection magazine. The magazine lists the top 20 out of more than 3,000 utilities in terms of economic development impacts to the areas they serve.

The magazine cites OPPD’s part in the creation of 3,281 jobs and $865 million in corporate facility investment.

Among the highlights listed in the award were 2020 projects including Amazon’s robotics fulfillment center and facility investments from Dollar General, and Facebook’s data center expansion.

It takes teamwork

“Economic development is a team sport,” said Tim O’Brien, Director of Economic Development and External Relations at OPPD. “It takes the entire organization to land these great projects. It’s humbling and exciting for myself and the team to work with many teams across OPPD and great community partners to get these results.”

The award for the utility’s economic development team came as no surprise to OPPD Senior Account Executive Steve Arora. The two departments work closely in helping customers achieve their goals.

“They are so good at what they do,” Arora said. He has worked with the team on the Dollar General project and several expansion projects on the Cargill campus. “The team helps bring in new customers to the Omaha area generating revenue for OPPD. They assist Senior Account Executives and Design Engineers in ensuring customers will have the power they need for their business.”

The team also supports existing customers looking to potentially expand their facilities.

“The amount of revenue they help bring in really has a positive impact on our communities,” Arora said.

Leadership roles

Site Selection also highlighted OPPD’s involvement in more than a dozen leadership positions  across local, regional and statewide boards in 2020.

“This is wonderful recognition for the utility and all the different partners and areas within OPPD that work on these large projects and keep the power flowing to these customers,” said Brook Aken, OPPD’s manager of Economic Development.

You can meet the members of OPPD’s Economic Development team in the video above, produced by Goswen Visual Marketing.

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About Jason Kuiper

Jason Kuiper joined OPPD as a communications specialist in 2015. He is a former staff writer and reporter at the Omaha World-Herald, where he covered a wide range of topics but spent the majority of his career covering crime. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has also appeared in several true crime documentary shows. In his free time he enjoys cooking, spending time with his wife and three children, and reading crime novels.

View all posts by Jason Kuiper >

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