State of economy focus of Sept. 30 Tri-City forum


KEARNEY – Experts from the public, private and academic sectors will report on the state of the economy in central Nebraska at an upcoming event in Kearney.

The Tri-City Area Economic Forum is from 8:30 a.m. to noon Sept. 30 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Kearney. It is hosted by the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Center for Rural Research and Development; economic development councils in Kearney, Hastings and Grand Island; and area businesses.

The forum includes presentations about trends and dynamics occurring nationally, statewide and locally, and how they impact business. Experts will discuss key economic indicators such as population, employment, wages, prices, retail trade, and housing and business strategies associated with each.

Ernie Goss
Ernie Goss

Economist Ernie Goss from Creighton University will deliver the keynote State of the State. Goss is director of the Goss Institute in Denver, director of Creighton’s Institute for Economic Inquiry and editor of Economic Trends newsletter.

UNK’s Bree Dority, associate dean of College of Business and Technology, and Assistant Professor of Management Daniel Chaffin will provide a current economic overview of the Tri-City area.

The forum offers a snapshot of area economic activity and provides forecasts to help businesses plan for the upcoming year, said Dority.

“How is the Tri-City Area’s economy similar to the state’s economy? How is it different? We seek to answer these questions,” she said. “By providing up-to-date, local and objective information regarding the strengths and challenges facing our economy, we hope to assist local leaders in enhancing our competitive position and making our communities more vibrant.”

The Economic Forum will also host a policy panel made up of Kearney Mayor Stan Clouse, Hastings Mayor Vern Powers and Grand Island Mayor Jeremy Jensen.

An industry symposium “Currrent Issues Impacting the Business Landscape” will be presented by Tom Henning of Cash-Wa Distributing, Jay Landell of Ag Resource Management and Doug Fargo with Global Industries.

The Economic Forum is of special interest to manufacturers, small business, bankers, health care professionals, government planners, school district leaders, builders and developers, real estate professionals, mortgage lenders and the retail and service industries, said organizers.

Fee to attend is $25. To register or for more information, visit

Tri-City Area Economic Forum
Date – Place: Sept. 30; Holiday Inn Convention Center, Kearney
8:30 a.m. – Registration
9 a.m. – Darren Robinson, Economic Development Council of Buffalo County
9:10 a.m. – Keynote Address: State of the State; Ernie Goss, Creighton University
9:50 a.m. – Economic Overview with Bree Dority, UNK Associate Dean of College of Business and Technology, and UNK Assistant Professor of Management Daniel Chaffin
10:50 a.m. – Tri-City Area mayor panel: Stan Clouse, Kearney; Jeremy Jensen, Grand Island; and Vern Powers, Hastings.
11:20 a.m. – Industry Symposium “Current Issues Impacting the Business Landscape,” with Tom Henning, Cash-Wa Distributing; Jay Landell, Ag Resource Management; and Doug Fargo, Global Industries.


Writer: Todd Gottula, Director of Communications, 308.865.8454,