Press release from the Nebraska State Chamber office – Date: October 15, 2020

Made in Nebraska: Let’s celebrate Manufacturing Month

LINCOLN – Four statewide manufacturing groups pledged today to join forces and coordinate their individual efforts to grow manufacturing and STEM workforce in Nebraska over the next decade.

The “Made in Nebraska Manufacturing Alliance” is comprised of:
• The state’s Nebraska Manufacturing Advisory Council (NeMAC);
• The Nebraska Advanced Manufacturing Coalition (NAMC);
• The Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Nebraska MEP) at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln; and
• The NE Chamber, Nebraska’s affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers.

“Stronger together. That’s the new mantra of this group of energized Nebraska manufacturing leaders,” said Bryan Slone, NE Chamber president. “The growth and advancement of one of our top industries is constrained – particularly by available talent. To make great strides, we need a great team. Creating this alliance is the beginning of a one-voice/one-vision path to progress.”

The Made in Nebraska Alliance will bring efficiency and alignment to several programs designed to help:
• equip and educate a tech-enabled workforce;
• promote manufacturing as a re-emerging high-tech career path for Nebraska students;
• deepen relationships among manufacturers to build supply-chain depth;
• usher in a new age of research, development and Manufacturing 4.0 tech advancement;
• advocate for policies that promote manufacturing growth; and
• provide member education, training and networking.

The Alliance embraces the economic development priorities put forth in the Blueprint Nebraska report, Growing the Good Life. The report identified 15 signature initiatives with the broadest and deepest impact on statewide quality of life, overall job growth, attracting 18-34-year-olds and the cost of living and doing business in the state. The plan also included a strong focus on growth of key business sectors across Nebraska by accelerating the adoption of technology and unlocking innovation in key industries like agriculture and manufacturing.

Statements from the Made in Nebraska Alliance:

Phil Raimondo, President and CEO, Behlen Mfg. Co.
“This Alliance will help highlight the importance of manufacturing in the state of Nebraska as we prepare for future growth and partner with education and business leaders to advocate for advanced technical skills training and continuous learning to increase the pipeline of a skilled workforce across the state.”

Jim Smith, President, Blueprint Nebraska; Chair, Nebraska Advanced Manufacturing Coalition (NAMC)
“Manufacturing is part of the fabric of our communities. It supports our producers and provides good-paying jobs. The stability of the sector has helped bring us through the pandemic. And now, manufacturing is playing the critical role of tech-accelerator. It’s time to up our ante in this sector.”

Scott Volk, Vice President and COO, MetalQuest Unlimited; Chair-elect Nebraska Manufacturing Advisory Council (NeMAC)
“Manufacturing is one of the most high-tech industries in the world. As manufacturers, we have not done a great job of promoting our high-tech careers or utilizing our technology to the extent we can. Manufacturing can offer exciting high-tech careers with lots of opportunity and potential. These careers will lead to job growth as we adopt and implement the technology that grows our businesses.

“The Nebraska Manufacturing Alliance will strengthen existing relationships between some manufacturers in the state and foster new relationships, allowing us to work together to grow our high-tech workforce, build needed infrastructure, and address the challenges we will face.

“Nebraska manufacturing has the opportunity to be a leader in modern manufacturing, showing the world how to grow jobs and businesses using technology and automation. Working alongside our public local, state, and education partners, we can make Nebraska Manufacturing as well-known as Nebraska Agriculture.”

Matt Allmand, Director, Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership, University of Nebraska – Lincoln (Nebraska MEP)
“Our work ethic makes manufacturing special in Nebraska. The alliance is a collaborative effort to help grow Nebraska. A strong manufacturing base makes a stronger state. The Nebraska MEP is part of the MEP National Network, known as the go-to experts for advancing U.S. manufacturing. We believe in the future of manufacturing and are committed to help train and support the next generation of manufacturing companies and their employees.”

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