Governor’s Economic Summit to Share Housing, Transportation and Workforce Strategies

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Governor’s Economic Summit to Share Housing, Transportation and Workforce Strategies

Gov. Pete Ricketts encourages Nebraska business leaders to participate in the 2nd annual Governor’s Economic Summit on July 13th in Lincoln. All events for the day-long summit will be held at the Cornhusker-A Marriott Hotel; 333 S. 13th St. This year’s forum, which is open to the public, will include an evening reception to celebrate 50 years of service for two statewide economic organizations; the Nebraska Diplomats and the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Gov. Pete Ricketts encourages Nebraska business leaders to participate in the 2nd annual Governor’s Economic Summit on July 13th in Lincoln. All events for the day-long summit will be held at the Cornhusker-A Marriott Hotel; 333 S. 13th St. This year’s forum, which is open to the public, will include an evening reception to celebrate 50 years of service for two statewide economic organizations; the Nebraska Diplomats and the Department of Economic Development (DED).

The Nebraska Governor’s Economic Summit is a one-of-a-kind forum for business executives, trade practitioners and elected officials to address unique challenges and opportunities facing Nebraska’s economy. Next month, speakers will address developments in roads and infrastructure, supply chain management, and labor and housing strategies to grow Nebraska.

Gov. Ricketts encourages economic leaders to capitalize on opportunities to learn about economic resources within Nebraska’s government.

“Connecting private and public shareholders at the Governor’s Economic Summit is an important step in growing statewide economic partnerships,” Gov. Ricketts said. “Building relationships at the state and local levels can provide access to innovative tools in business development, and encourages collaboration in attracting new and expanding businesses to Nebraska.”

Public and private sector professionals speaking at this year’s event include Richard Langer, President of Minneapolis-based transportation company, Quetica; and Nebraska Education Commissioner, Dr. Matthew Blomstedt. The summit’s keynote speaker, Lindsey Woolsey, serves as President and principal consultant of The Woolsey Group. Ms. Woolsey’s Washington-based firm specializes in research, technical assistance and the facilitation of economic development programs for CEOs and industry leaders. She is a national expert in the field of industry sector and cluster strategies, and recently led a coalition between DED and Nebraska’s Departments of Education and Labor in an effort to grow workforce opportunities through her national learning academy, Next Generation Sector Partnerships.

Richard Langer has extensive experience as a global supply chain, transportation and trade system designer for Fortune 500 companies and the Federal Government. He is an original founder and president of the PowerTrack freight audit and payment businesses, which serve more than 13,000 carrier companies in 40 countries. Mr. Langer also spearheaded efforts to adapt supply chain network optimization for public freight networks, which led to lower transportation costs for local businesses. Quetica is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB).

Over the past two years, Dr. Matthew Blomstedt has led the successful development and implementation of AQuESTT, which has positioned Nebraska to meet federal requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. AQuESTT classifies Nebraska’s schools and districts in order to provide critical information for continuous educational improvement. Dr. Blomstedt initiated efforts on a student-focused strategic plan with the State Board of Education and Nebraska Department of Education. Designed to enhance career-focused curriculum and work-based learning to help transition Nebraska students into the workforce, Dr. Blomstedt will brief shareholders on the latest developments in this process.

The 2017 summit will also feature a panel discussion with statewide community leaders who specialize in workforce housing strategies. Over the past several years, limited housing availability across Nebraska has initiated creativity to grow vitality within communities. Utilizing economic resources through local leadership and public-private partnerships are key factors to success in Nebraska’s housing market. Members of this panel will share housing solutions stories, all of which are unique to their own communities.

“In our travels across the state, my team and I have learned about exciting, innovative strategies local leaders and developers are using to retain and recruit talent to Nebraska,” said DED Director Courtney Dentlinger. “Whether it’s from business owners, elected officials or employees, the message we hear in communities is consistent: building a strong housing market is essential to growing a strong workforce. We look forward to sharing these success stories with stakeholders at next month’s summit.”

Director Dentlinger and Department of Roads Director Kyle Schneweis will join former Florida Department of Transportation Secretary, Tom Barry, to speak about the opportunity to deliver a 21st century transportation system in Nebraska. The group will discuss a number of regulatory policies, which are necessary to build and maintain modern infrastructure consistent with national trends.

The Governor’s Panel on Nebraska’s international partnerships will feature a discussion on our state’s most prominent market outside of North America. Japan imports $1.1 billion in goods from Nebraska annually, and continues to be an important employment source for Nebraskans. Over the past decade, Japanese companies have invested nearly $5.9 billion in Nebraska’s economy. Nebraskans at the forefront of this vital, bilateral relationship will discuss efforts to create additional economic opportunities for our state.

As community leaders continue efforts to retain and recruit talent to Nebraska’s workforce, sessions will build on strategies shared at the Governor’s inaugural summit, such as innovative programming and legislation designed to grow and attract companies. More than 400 Nebraskans represented the state’s multi-faceted economic development community at the 2016 summit, which focused on results gathered by nonprofit and independent research center SRI International. Findings identified strengths and needs within Nebraska’s tax incentive program and noted the need for young, high-growth companies to recruit skilled labor to Nebraska’s workforce.

To register for or sponsor the 2017 Governor’s Economic Summit, contact Lori Shaal at 402-471-3780 or lori.shaal@nebraska.gov. Additional information about the event is listed online at www.negovsummit.com.