For the second-straight year, Nebraska has been No. 1 in the nation in economic development and Blair played a significant role in helping the state garner such a recognition.

Site Selection magazine recognized the achievement by awarding Nebraska with the second consecutive Governor's Cup, an award given to the state who has the most economic development projects per capita. Nebraska had 110 projects in 2017, including the construction of the $200 million Veramaris facility on the biocampus in Blair. The facility, a partnership between Evonik and Royal DSM, will be the first of its kind, enabling the production of omega-3 fatty acids for animal nutrition without using fish oil from wild-caught fish.

On Monday, Gov. Pete Ricketts toured Evonik and the construction site for Veramaris to thank those for their work.

Blair and Washington County businesses also played a part in Nebraska receiving the award a year ago.

In 2016, Nebraska had 101 projects, including an $88 million investment by Martin Marietta Materials and a $40 million investment by Novozymes.

Many of the gains Blair, Washington County, and in turn Nebraska, have seen can be credited to the Gateway Development Corp.

In 2018, economic activity generated by Gateway has added about $36.9 million to the local economy. From March through June in 2017 alone, Blair had more than $400 million in announcements.

Kudos to those that deserve credit for their hard work to make Washington County and Nebraska a great place to live and work.

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