State chamber: Biggest economic challenge is state’s workforce

27 Nov 2017

In a presentation last week by the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the lack of adequate workforce was named as the most significant impediment to economic growth faced by communities across the state.

Workforce development issues have long been on the front burner in Grand Island. The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, Grand Island Area Economic Development Corp., the Grand Island office of Workforce Development, Heartland United Way, Goodwill Industries, Grand Island Public Schools and other organizations have been working to find homegrown solutions to fill the demand for workers in the local market.

With the unemployment rate now at 2.8 percent the need for skilled workers has never been higher, while the pool of able-bodied workers continues to shrink.

The school district’s focus on developing learning academies and career pathways will address much of the need as future high school graduates will be either job-ready or prepared to continue on a path to earn certificates for a variety of high-skilled, good-paying jobs. Many will work while they continue their education and training.

Nebraska Workforce Development is assisting veterans with a variety of programs to help them assimilate into the workforce after their military careers have ended. Workforce Development also provides excellent guidance and preparation for civilians needing a helping hand to enter the workforce.

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