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Mayor's Office Heading City Letter Head

April 24, 2003

For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831

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Mayor Don Wesely said today’s decision by State Farm Insurance Companies to add jobs in Lincoln is great economic news for the City of Lincoln. State Farm is expected to add 140 jobs the first year and more over a three-year period. State Farm currently employs about 1,000 workers in Lincoln. He said the City and the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development (LPED) have been working with State Farm to make sure the company continues to grow and prosper in Lincoln.

“During the past few months, as State Farm finalized its plans for the future, we have worked hard and done everything we could to help State Farm succeed in Lincoln,” said Mayor Wesely. “Our proposal clearly showed to State Farm the benefits of expanding its presence in Lincoln. The strategic location, attractive incentives, low operating cost and the skilled, available workers were presented to State Farm officials as resources for their success. Lincoln is a very attractive location for the company to consolidate its operations.”

State Farm opened its main campus at 84th and “O” streets in 1988 and expanded in 1998. The plans announced today are a result of the consolidation State Farm announced in August 2001. The company, headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, is reducing its 25 regions into 13 zones. The Heartland Zone includes Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The Mayor thanked the partners who worked with the City on the proposal for the State Farm expansion: LPED, Lincoln Electric System, the Lincoln Public Schools and the State of Nebraska.

Wesely said the City has a solid, stable and growing economy with a property tax rate lower than many other cities.

“At a time when many governments are talking about raising property taxes, dipping deeply into their reserves and making deep cuts, the City of Lincoln has held the line on spending and maintained a solid general fund balance,” he said. “The value of building permits exceeded $500 million for the first time, and we are on pace to set another record. Our sales tax revenues are outpacing projections.”

Mayor Wesely said Lincoln’s education system is also a strong attraction for employers. “If you’re an employer looking to hire technical and professional workers, you’re going to find nearly 5,000 graduates in Lincoln looking for jobs every June,” he said. “We have one of the best public education systems in the country, from kindergarten through the post-graduate level. It’s a nurturing environment with a highly educated labor force.

“Lincoln is embarking on a journey to make the community more competitive in today’s dynamic, high-tech economy. This announcement helps put Lincoln on the fast track to a higher level of economic success.”

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