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Columbus uses campaign to get in front of workforce needs

By K.C. Belitz / Reprinted from The Columbus Telegram – dated November 7, 2018


Date: November 7, 2018

In 2006, the National Association of Manufacturers rolled out the “Dream It Do It” campaign to address the shortage of skilled workers in American manufacturing. The Nebraska Advanced Manufacturing Coalition, led by T.R. Raimondo, has been promoting the “Dream It Do It” campaign across Nebraska ever since and we’ve been on board in Columbus since the early days.
One project under the umbrella of DIDI is the Career Dream Team. Young adults who have careers in manufacturing and related businesses help our future workforce see that they can make their dreams come true.
In addition to a statewide Dream Team, Columbus is the first to have our own regional team. The Columbus Area Dream Team is partnering with area schools to get in front of our future workforce and their parents to promote their educational pathways and careers.
Here is an introduction to this year’s Columbus Regional Dream Team:
Bryce Standley is a welding instructor at CCC in Columbus. He says students in his welding program can get an associate’s degree, a certificate or simply take some of the individual courses within the welding program and they will be able to start on their path to prosper as a welder. He said being a welding instructor is his dream job because he likes to see students have success after going through his program.
Derek Blumenthal is a PC/Network Analyst at Behlen Mfg. Co. His role is to make sure Behlen has the most reliable technologies for their needs, to troubleshoot hardware and software, to do maintenance on CNC machines and to do network cabling and infrastructure work.
Derek said: “I never imagined I would find myself at a manufacturing company, but I have found it to be very challenging and rewarding and I want to make others aware there is a great career path in the IT field at manufacturing companies.”
Jaime Ristow is a continuous improvement leader at BD Pharmaceutical. She is responsible for looking for opportunities to gain efficiency, reduce waste and training Lean Manufacturing concepts to others. She said she always knew she wanted to be an engineer, but it was a health care engineering course in college that opened her eyes to the world of medical manufacturing. “Knowing what I do and the products BD manufactures directly impacts the lives of patients” is the most rewarding thing about her career.
Jose Leon is a team leader on the Paint Line at Behlen Mfg. Co. Jose has a business administration degree. He uses his degree to ensure every day runs smoothly, making sure the equipment is working great, making sure his team is safe and ensuring Behlen’s products meet the highest quality standards. An internship in manufacturing at Behlen is what made him change his major to business administration.
Kyle Ainsworth is a journeyman lineman for Loup Public Power District. He likes working for a company that is very involved in its community and the most rewarding thing about his career is the true appreciation he gets for getting a customer’s power back on after a storm.
Chantal Hiatt at Associated Staffing works with multiple industries around the area. She enjoys helping people decide what they enjoy doing and how to make a career out of their favorite activities. Chantal said there are many possibilities for people in advanced manufacturing and the salaries can be very attractive.
All our Dream Team members say they make a good living and are able to afford a home, new vehicles, savings, investments and still have enough for entertainment and vacations.
The Columbus Area Dream It Do It Committee is grateful to the team members and their employers for making this year-long commitment to promoting these great careers in manufacturing and related fields!