Sep 29 2019

Lincoln Manufacturing Council Revs Up Efforts


In Lincoln’s economy, manufacturing is a vital sector, accounting for 11.5% of Nebraska’s GDP with 7.4% expected growth by 2024. This represents 1,000 new jobs in our community.

Across the country, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled by the year 2024. However, a skills gap nationally means that nearly 2 million of those jobs may go unfilled and therefore, holding back the potential output of our manufacturers. Many people have never worked in manufacturing and are not aware of the multiple shifts and career pathways possible.

To address this, the Lincoln Manufacturing Council, championed by TMCO, Bison/IMSCORP, Kawasaki and coordinated by the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, created a six-week class for adults to learn about manufacturing, measurement, career pathways and employment skills.
The class will be offered in neighborhoods across Lincoln and provide a stipend, childcare and a meal at each class. Since most people are already working, the stipend offsets lost income. The effort now includes 10 Lincoln area manufacturers to grow the talent pipeline.

The first class begins in October with a second kicking off in January 2020. This effort brings together our EmployLNK workforce agencies to provide referrals of clients ready to take this step with manufacturers ready to train and hire.

LPED is also partnering with Lincoln Public Schools to connect K-12 students to STEM pathways, including manufacturing. On September 12 and 13, members of the community in addition to over 30 businesses  participated in a strategic planning kick off for the Lincoln STEM Ecosystem. The Ecosystem will provide connectivity between K-12 education and before/after school services and the STEM-focused businesses growing in our community. Stay tuned for the completed strategic plan and community efforts.

By tackling these issues head on, the goal is to provide a prosperous future for manufacturers and for Lincoln. The efforts of the Lincoln Manufacturing Council and STEM Ecosystem will continue to improve that future as manufacturing remains a key cog to economic success, both locally and across Nebraska.