The exponential growth of Trego-Dugan Aviation has prompted a move of its corporate operations to the First National Bank of Omaha building in downtown North Platte.
The company currently operates in 42 locations throughout the country and employs 1,800 with plans to grow. The company was founded in North Platte 55 years ago.
President Vince Dugan said the company could no longer run its operations from its offices at the North Platte Regional Airport.
“This is now our ‘world headquarters,’” Dugan said. “What happened is that we had offices that were attached to one of the hangars at the airport.”
Over the last two years as the company grew, Dugan said, there just wasn’t enough room.
“The problem is that we want to have as many jobs here (in North Platte) as possible,” Dugan said, “centralized to run our corporation.”
He said the company had to base people in other cities because of the lack of space.
“As part of everything that’s happening at the airport, we were in a position where we had to do something different,” Dugan said.
The city is considering annexation of the airport, and Dugan said the plans would impact the company in terms of space.
“We will be building a new hangar and offices out there,” Dugan said, but there would still not be enough space for the corporate operations.
He said the North Platte Chamber & Development Corp. and the city strongly indicated they wanted Trego-Dugan to keep its headquarters in North Platte.
“They were not necessarily directly involved,” Dugan said, “but they wanted us to stay.”
Trego-Dugan is leasing half of the top floor of the bank at 201 N. Dewey St., “with options to grow more,” Dugan said. “We currently have 13-14 people in the office here, but we intend to double that in the next 18 months.”
As people based in other cities move on, Dugan said, the company will bring their replacements into the new offices.
“We want to move those positions to North Platte, which is great for the community,” Dugan said. “It’s great for the company as well.”
Dugan said there is a challenge, however, in hiring at this time.
“We’ve had three people who took jobs but were looking for suitable housing, and they couldn’t find anything and they are not coming,” Dugan said. “It’s catastrophic because we’re wanting to grow and wanting to add jobs here and we are stymied because of the housing shortage. It’s a real issue.”
The positions being offered pay in the six-figure range, and the potential employees are looking at housing in the $300,000 to $400,000 market.
“We’re adding people in the $45,000 to $100,000 range too,” Dugan said. “We have room for 30 employees, so we’re just going to have to work through the housing thing.”
He said the company is excited to be able to keep its headquarters in North Platte.
“We just love our new location,” Dugan said. “This is not a short-term thing; this is long-term.”
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