It has been 11 months since Worldlawn Power Equipment purchased one of the largest empty buildings in Beatrice, Neb. Since then, Worldlawn has transitioned from its former location in the Gage County Industrial Park to the 274,000-square-foot building last used by Husqvarna, which sat empty for 6 years, according to an article in the Beatrice Daily Sun.

“While we’ve made great strides, we know there’s still much to accomplish,” said Worldlawn President Hardy Shao. “With the acquisition of this building, we feel confident we have the capacity not only to grow and produce new and good products, but also create job opportunities for the community.”

Worldlawn Power Equipment was established in California in 2004 and has been in Beatrice since 2011, when the company purchased Encore Manufacturing.

The company manufactures outdoor power equipment, including professional and commercial lawnmowers, residential lawnmowers and snow throwers.

The building is nearly triple the size of its former location, which Worldlawn General Manager Dan Overfield expects to see listed for sale in the future.

Overfield said the company is currently using around half the space of the building, but there are no plans to divide the building for other businesses to use.

“We have a great team here at Worldlawn,” he said. "We are all looking forward to what we believe is a strong future for the company.”

Gov. Pete Ricketts, who has visited China twice since taking office, said Worldlawn’s growth in Beatrice demonstrates the need to build relationships with China.

“None of this happens because of one person,” he said. “It’s everybody coming together, and we at the state want to continue to encourage that to make sure that we’re working together to expand those opportunities. It’s one of the reasons we do trade missions. China is our second largest export market outside of North America, and the fastest growing.”

The larger facility allows for diversification, expansion, warehousing and solidifying the company’s long-term goals.

Shao said the company has made efforts to grow its customer base while also focusing on safety and improving working conditions for employees, which has resulted in low turnover.

“When we started this process 6 years ago in Beatrice, at the first ribbon-cutting, I said ‘let’s get things started,’” Shao said. “Over those years, we have grown and had success… We have worked hard to create a family-oriented and stable work environment where employees gain organization, commitment and job satisfaction.”

Since the move, the company has added 5 positions, bringing its total number of employees to about 30 workers. They expect to add more.