Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and Lt. Governor Mike Foley concluded a week-long tour of statewide businesses to kickoff Nebraska Manufacturing Month in October and celebrate National Manufacturing Day on October 6, 2017. This year, business leaders are focusing on opportunities to expose young people to developments in the industry through company tours for students and educators.
“Manufacturing Month allows the chance for Nebraskans to learn about the day-to-day operations of our manufacturers, as well as the strong foundations that these companies hold in our communities,” said Governor Ricketts. “By participating, these business leaders have the opportunity to recruit Nebraska’s next generation of production designers, inspectors, and welders. The State of Nebraska values our partnerships with manufacturing companies who are growing interest in their industry through programs like the Developing Youth Talent Initiative.”
The Governor’s Office, Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED), the Nebraska Manufacturing Advisory Council (NeMAC) and the Nebraska State Chamber coordinated efforts to celebrate Manufacturing Month, which included visits to businesses in 13 communities. DED Director Courtney Dentlinger and State Chamber President Barry Kennedy joined the Governor for tour stops on Thursday and Friday.
Featured businesses on the Governor’s tour included B&C Steel in Gering, Chief Industries and Nova-Tech in Grand Island, Lukjan Metal Products in Sidney, and Perrin Manufacturing in Alliance. The Lt. Governor’s tour stops included Ag Dryer in Elm Creek, Designer Craft Woodworking and Eilers Machine & Welding in Lexington, Feeney Manufacturing in Tekamah, Nebraska Plastics in Cozad, Ogallala Comfort Company in Ogallala and West Point Dairy in West Point.
Throughout the month of October, additional Nebraska companies are partnering with schools to introduce new developments in the state’s manufacturing industry. Companies across Columbus, Rosenbauer Aerials in Fremont and Smeal Fire Apparatus in Snyder will host student tours from several schools. Nebraska’s Dream It Do It campaign will engage schools and businesses across the state, which include Becton Dickinson, Behlen Manufacturing Company, Cargill, Columbus Hydraulics and the City of Columbus, Duo Lift, Flexon, Mid-Plains/Central Confinement and Valmont.
Businesses in Custer County celebrated Manufacturing Day by hosting 90 students from six area schools, which included tours of Becton Dickinson, Custer Public Power District and Sargent Pipe Company.
On Friday, Endicott Clay Products in Endicott visited with area students at their facility. The event included the opportunity for students to hear from the company’s management team, tour its manufacturing plant, and learn about the equipment used to help produce more than 75 million bricks per year.
“Participating in Manufacturing Day events and inviting youth into our company has been a great opportunity for us as a way to showcase our plant and its ongoing career opportunities,” said Endicott Clay Products CEO and President, Ryan Parker. “The reality is that Nebraska’s youth are tomorrow’s workforce. Showing students firsthand that we offer careers in accounting, heavy equipment operations, maintenance, marketing, mechanics, robotics, sales and welding has been an eye-opening experience for our young people. When students learn that they can stay close to family and have a meaningful career, we work to actively recruit them to stay in Nebraska. As a result, we’ve had students graduate on May 19th and start working for us on May 20th.”
“Our team at the State of Nebraska is excited and encouraged by the growing number of businesses working to build awareness and interest in our schools about Nebraska’s second largest industry,” said DED Director Dentlinger. “By facilitating face-to-face meetings between business leaders and students, our manufacturers are showing young people that they can earn rewarding careers in skilled labor, management and production in their home state. By doing so, these companies are building momentum around this industry and actively working to retain these students in Nebraska.”
For more information about Manufacturing Month in Nebraska, contact Lynn Kohout, DED Business Development Consultant and NeMAC coordinator, at 402-440-2599, or firstname.lastname@example.org.