Gov. Pete Ricketts emphasized economic development in his State of the State address and says exports will be a key to economic growth.
Ricketts says Nebraska needs to be strategic and aggressive in pursuing trade missions abroad.
“I hope to be able to do two a year to make sure we are making those connections, opening up those doors for our producers, and our manufacturers, and our business people here in the state,” Ricketts tells reporters during a question and answer period after the State of the State address. “So, again that’s one of things we can do to really grow the economy is find those export opportunities.”
Ricketts says those opportunities are especially available to Nebraska farmers and ranchers. He says the state must take advantage of rising standards of living in other countries.
“That’s primarily occurring in the developing world. Those people are demanding more protein,” Ricketts says. “And so those are the kind of export opportunities that we have here in the state, to feed that growing world. So, I think agriculture is a huge opportunity for us.”’
In the State of the State address, Ricketts outlined four major priorities of his administration, stating they were interconnected with his overall theme of growing Nebraska. The first was strengthening the economy, but two others, reducing taxes and easing regulations, he touted as helping improve the business climate in Nebraska, fostering job growth.
Ricketts also tied the fourth, expanding educational opportunities, into growing the economy.
Ricketts proposes funding a $250,000 pilot program to form a public-private partnership to create a career and vocational training program modeled after a similar program in Michigan.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]