Manufacturing Month Events Encourage Student Interest, Investment in NE

Monday, November 13, 2017

Governor Pete Ricketts continued to promote Manufacturing Month by visiting two businesses in central Nebraska. The Governor’s tour of Becton Dickinson in Holdrege and Royal Engineered Composites in Minden followed a 10-community tour this month to celebrate businesses within the industry. Department of Economic Development (DED) Director Courtney Dentlinger and State Chamber President Barry Kennedy joined the Governor on tours of several businesses during the first week of October.

Last week, Gov. Ricketts, Director Dentlinger and Kennedy participated in the Nebraska State Chamber’s 2017 Manufacturing Summit in Omaha. The State Chamber’s summit featured a discussion on manufacturing issues regarding trade, technology and workforce solutions. Later, Gov. Ricketts and Director Dentlinger toured Omaha’s Metro Area Mobile Manufacturing Expo (M3E), a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) mobile trailer. The trailer was created through funding from Nebraska’s Developing Youth Talent Initiative (DYTI), created to expose 7th and 8th grade students to the state’s manufacturing and technology sectors. Students began working with the trailer in 2017, and community events also displayed the trailer to expose adults to potential Nebraska manufacturing careers.

In 2016, Distefano Technology & Manufacturing earned DYTI funding, which included a partnership with Omaha Public Schools and a consortium of area businesses. In addition to the M3E trailer, the program implemented new curriculum for junior high students for training in robotics and welding. Businesses included in the program’s consortium with Distefano included Brand Hydraulics Co., Conductix-Wampfler, Drake-Williams Steel, NECO, Nebraska Machinery Company, Oxbow Animal Health, Tri-V Tool and Manufacturing and Valmont.

Distefano hosted more than 40 students for Manufacturing Day events on October 6th; Last Thursday, Gov. Ricketts toured the facility. Company leaders shared successes about students’ growing interest in manufacturing as a result of DYTI funding. Gov. Ricketts also learned more about the company’s 12-week welding school, which is a collaboration between Distefano and Metropolitan Community College.

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