Economic growth, education and health care; all topics being discussed the next couple of days in Omaha, the site of the National Governors Association regional economic development summit.
Gov. Dave Heineman, chairman of the NGA, launched an initiative called Growing State Economies, featuring four regional summits.
Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa and Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan have joined Heineman at the summit that will focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. State officials from Nebraska and surrounding states will meet with business leaders from throughout the Midwest at the summit.
All three governors met with the news media this morning, discussing a variety of topics.
Michigan Gov. Snyder said his state has focused on helping business promote exports.
“Part of the key for America’s future is making us more and more an export-oriented state and country,” according to Snyder.
The tie between education and jobs has been emphasized during the meeting. University of Nebraska President, J.B. Milliken, delivered the keynote address today on how universities can contribute to a state’s economic growth.
Gov. Heineman said the states must push advanced education.
“Because a high school education is no longer sufficient,” according to Heineman. “Every single student today needs at least a two-year associate’s degree or a four-degree from a collegiate institution. So, we’re going to continue to prioritize education and jobs.”
Funding education has to become more of a priority, according to Iowa Gov. Branstad.
“We have had a decline in recent years in our state and in many states in terms of public support for higher education,” according to Branstad, “I’m proud to say we’re turning that around this year.”
The summit wraps up tomorrow. The three previous regional summits were held in Connecticut, Washington and Tennessee.
AUDIO: Gov. Heineman hosts news conference at economic summit [7:40]