LINCOLN – Governor Pete Ricketts will travel throughout the state in October to highlight Manufacturing Month in Nebraska. Starting Tuesday, he will be joined by members of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry on a tour of manufacturing companies that have been contributing to the state’s standout growth across the sector.
“Each October we celebrate Manufacturing Month to highlight companies making world-class products right here in Nebraska,” said Gov. Ricketts. “Manufacturing is the state’s second-largest industry. We’ve made investments to connect Nebraskans with the skills needed to excel in great manufacturing opportunities. We’ve also worked hard to lower costs and cut red tape so that manufacturers can easily set up shop and create jobs in Nebraska. These steps have already increased manufacturing in our state, and there’s incredible potential to grow Nebraska manufacturing even more.”
Manufacturing is one of Nebraska’s most important industries, contributing over $13 billion to the Gross State Product annually. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Nebraska’s manufacturing sector experienced more than 10 percent job growth between December 2009 and July 2019 (using seasonally adjusted data).
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reports that the average annual compensation for Nebraska manufacturing jobs exceeded $62,500 in 2017. According to NAM, Nebraska’s manufacturing exports increased by more than 40% from 2010 to 2018, rising to a total of $6.48 billion.
One in ten jobs in Nebraska is in manufacturing (BLS data from July 2019). BLS reports that 1,990 manufacturing firms employ slightly more than 100,000 Nebraskans in the state.
“Nebraska’s strong manufacturing sector has been a cornerstone of our economic progress,” said Bryan Slone, President of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry. “It’s also one of the fastest growing industries in our nation for high-tech, high-paying jobs. The advancement in these industries will be an instrumental source of brain gain for our state over the next decade.”
Gov. Ricketts has long championed the state’s manufacturing industry for its job creation and economic output. In 2015, he launched the Developing Youth Talent Initiative (DYTI) to promote manufacturing career awareness among Nebraska youth. That program, administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED), has introduced over 7,000 seventh and eighth graders to manufacturing careers and concepts.
The Nebraska Manufacturing Advisory Council (NeMAC)—led by DED, the Department of Education, and the Department of Labor, in partnership with the private sector—is another industry champion. As the state’s premier group devoted to manufacturing advocacy, NeMAC provides a key voice on opportunities and challenges surrounding the industry, such as workforce availability and automation.
During his tour this week, the Governor will also recognize firms whose recent growth in Nebraska contributed to the state’s three-peat “Governor’s Cup” win in March 2019. For the third consecutive year, Nebraska received the award from Site Selection Magazine for achieving the most economic development projects per capita of any state in the nation.