NE Manufacturing Day to Promote Industry Education, Workforce Opportunities

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NE Manufacturing Day to Promote Industry Education, Workforce Opportunities

Statewide organizations are encouraging Nebraska companies to celebrate Nebraska Manufacturing Day on October 6, 2017. Nebraska manufacturers participate in Manufacturing Day, held annually during the first week of October, as part of a coordinated effort with national Manufacturing Day. The event encourages businesses to educate students and communities about the industry, which employs more than 97,000 Nebraskans. Participation allows local industry leaders to promote new opportunities in skilled labor through company tours and community events. Nearly 1,900 manufacturing businesses are located in Nebraska.

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) and the Nebraska Manufacturing Advisory Council (NeMAC) are leading statewide efforts to celebrate Manufacturing D ay. In Nebraska, manufacturing contributed to 11.5% of the state’s Gross Domestic Product in 2016 for a total output of $13.2 billion.

“Manufacturing Day provides companies with an important platform to promote our state’s second largest industry, which continues to grow careers for young Nebraskans,” DED Courtney Dentlinger said. “As manufacturers connect with students through Nebraska-based programs such as InternNE and the Developing Youth Talent Initiative, Manufacturing Day offers an additional opportunity to give our youth an inside look within the industry. These collaborative efforts encourage students to develop manufacturing skills in our state, build their careers here, and make an overall investment in Nebraska.”

Nearly a dozen businesses across Nebraska have announced plans to celebrate Manufacturing Day through a variety of educational events. Companies in Endicott, Falls City, Lincoln, Norfolk, Omaha and Schuyler will provide tours for junior high and high school students. The Falls City Economic Development and Growth Enterprise (EDGE) will host middle school industry tours at local businesses that specialize in advanced manufacturing. FAST Global Solutions serves as a leading employer and supporter of Falls City EDGE.

“As a corporate citizen of Falls City, our team of employee owners at FAST Inc. understands that support for our community and youth is vital,” FAST Inc. Plant Manager Jerry Koopman said. “Our students and young people are our future leaders in the Falls City-area business community. This year’s Manufacturing Day events will provide these young people with an inside look at our growing company and connect them to potential learning opportunities in their own backyard.”

Several Nebraska communities will participate in a Manufacturing and Distribution Summit in Scottsbluff to recognize October as Manufacturing Month in western Nebraska. City of Scottsbluff Economic Development and Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC) will host the event on October 12, which will feature several panels on continuing education and workforce development efforts in the manufacturing industry. Local businesses will also have the opportunity to connect with state representatives from the Nebraska Manufacturing Partnership and Nebraska Business Development Center, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Nebraska Departments of Economic Development (DED) and Labor (DOL).

“The City of Scottsbluff and other western Nebraska communities understand that collaboration is an important factor when it comes to growing our manufacturing industry – and recognizing its powerful economic engine in this part of the state,” said City of Scottsbluff Economic Development Director Starr Lehl. “Our goal is to give local manufacturers an opportunity to network by sharing ideas and best practices, as well as learn about efforts to prepare students for key industry jobs. Educators from WNCC, Alliance, Gering, Scottsbluff and Sidney are leading regional efforts to build momentum in manufacturing, and we are excited to learn more about these exciting new strategies to grow Nebraska.”

Nebraska businesses are invited to plan local events to engage youth and the communities to celebrate Manufacturing Day in Nebraska.

“Manufacturing Day provides an outstanding opportunity for businesses to educate students and communities about growth within the industry,” said Director Dentlinger. “Kawasaki in Lincoln and Endicott Clay in Endicott are great examples of companies that are planning Manufacturing Day events to showcase recent expansion efforts. I encourage other Nebraska manufacturers to follow their lead in planning events in additional communities.”

For more information about Manufacturing Day, visit http://www.mfgday.com/.

The national site provides guidance about planning a Manufacturing Day event, and provides businesses with an opportunity to post local events for public awareness.

For additional information, contact Lynn Kohout, DED Business Development Consultant and NeMAC Coordinator, at 402-440-2559, or lynn.kohout@nebraska.gov.