Report from America: Nebraska and Skills, Skills, Skills

By September 13, 2006General

Report from AmericaPeggy Walton, associate director for workforce initiatives, traveled to Lincoln, Neb., last week for the announcement of a statewide “Dream It. Do It.” campaign. (News story here.) Her report follows:

When you have the Nebraska governor, Dave Heineman, telling you it’s critical to the future economy of the state to help young people understand the exciting opportunities available in advanced manufacturing, folks listen. Friday more than 300 people listened in Lincoln, Neb., when the Nebraska Advanced Manufacturing Coalition officially launched the “Dream It. Do It.” manufacturing careers campaign for the state. (State homepage here.)

Also speaking at the event were NAM President John Engler; University of Nebraska President J.B. Milliken; Jerry Jasinowski, President of The Manufacturing Institute; and Tony Raimondo of Behlen Manufacturing. Each made a strong appeal for support of this dynamic initiative intent on introducing young talent to the high-tech careers in manufacturing.

However, with all the dignitaries on the stage, one other voice rang out loud and clear. Amber Mestl is a bright and creative young woman who was encouraged by her college counselor to consider opportunities at Behlen Mfg. when she went looking for an internship. Although a little skeptical about what she might find, Amber took the internship at Behlen. She came to the “Dream It. Do It.” launch to tell what a fascinating world to which she was introduced and how excited she is about the opportunities she found in manufacturing — opportunities she had not known of previously. This is a message that needs to reach the talent pool of the future. You can be creative, and take what you’re passionate about and invest yourself in the challenging careers available in advanced manufacturing!

Manufacturers in Nebraska and across the nation are hoping that message resonates with the next generation of innovative talent they need to attract to the industry.

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