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Rachel Kreikemeier

Executive Director

Department: Economic Development

NGage welcomes Rachel Kreikemeier to its executive director position. Being active community members of Gage County, Rachel and her family have been residents since 2015. Her children, ages 5, 7, 9 and 10, exert their energy participating in basketball, flag football, and other athletic programs. Rachel and her family live an active lifestyle. However, Rachel finds joy and relaxation gardening or enjoying the calm that comes from a cup of coffee. 

How long have you been the executive director of NGage?

My first day was July 25, 2022.

As the executive director of NGage, what are your duties?

My duties are working to improve communities and lives in Gage County. This is done by retaining and growing local businesses, increasing and improving a skilled workforce, and attracting new investments to the area. We collaborate with key players in our area and beyond to form partnerships that drive meaningful economic growth and development.

What value are you bringing to the position and Gage County?

This position relies heavily on building relationships with key people at key times to effect change. I enjoy meeting new people, establishing connections, and building relationships. 

Throughout my career, I have worked in various capacities related to workforce development, education, and training. I understand what the struggles are for our youth and the pressures they face in figuring out what it is they want to do with the rest of their lives. I hope to work seamlessly with our local educational institutions, both secondary and post secondary, as well as with our businesses to provide opportunities for our youth to gain positive and insightful work ethic, experience, and soft skills. That will hopefully inspire our youth to stay here or return after their education to work and raise a family.

Any items in your pending folder that you are eager/excited to complete?

I have two things I am most passionate about; Childcare capacity for ages five and under, and workforce training for high school students.

Children Five and Under

NGage is currently administering a grant through the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation to help increase childcare capacity in our area. We know that quality childcare is so important in a child’s first five years. We also know that we do not have enough providers with spots available to meet the need. 

High School Students

Part of the spirit of Gage County is forward-thinking and strong work-ethic. To continue adding to our skilled workforce, we need to show our high schoolers that there are good jobs available right here in their hometown. 

Manufacturing day is celebrated in October. In Gage County, our high school students have the opportunity to visit local manufacturers, seeing what they do and the type of jobs that are available right here in their hometown. While the date for this year’s event is TBD, I plan to use this day to highlight the availability in skilled trades for those willing to learn. I think it’s important to expose students to skilled trade jobs as they become more and more in demand with the existing workforce aging and retiring. We need to encourage our students to stay and earn a living, or return to their hometown after completing their education, and earn a living. I am passionate about this because students do not necessarily have to get a bachelor’s degree to be successful. The successful alternative is learning a skilled trade to get a good paying job.

Is there anything you’d like to add that I may have missed?

Over the years, I have grown to love this community and county. My husband and I can not imagine raising our children anywhere else. I love getting to know more and more people in the area and helping to make this community and county a better place to enjoy life, work, and raise a family. 

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Rachel is currently in the process of completing her MBA through Bellevue University. She is set to graduate in February 2023. Rachel is a shining example of a purpose-driven person and we are happy to have her as the executive director of NGage. We look forward to our working future together.