A group working toward making Nebraska more competitive with other states to improve its economic prospects wants to hear from you.
Blueprint Nebraska Executive Director Jim Smith says the group has focused on 16 areas to address economic growth, competitiveness, and prosperity and is listening to Nebraskans during a series of town halls.
“We want this to be Nebraska’s plan for its future,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network. “And, for that to happen, we have to hear the voice of Nebraska.”
Town halls in Chadron, Valentine, Scottsbluff/Gering, North Platte and North Platte last month discussed workforce and housing shortages, the tax burden, and a lack of broadband coverage, among other topics.
Today, town halls will be held in Lincoln, Omaha, and Norfolk.
- The Lincoln town hall will be held this morning from 8 o’clock to 10 at Southeast Community College, 8800 O Street.
- The Omaha town hall will be held from 11:30am to 1:30pm at the University of Nebraska-Omaha’s Scott Conference Center, 6450 Pine Street.
- The Norfolk town hall will be held this afternoon from 3 o’clock to 5 at Northeast Community College, Lifelong Learning Center, 801 E. Benjamin Avenue.
Everyone is invited. No registration is required.
Comments are also being solicited online. You can access the statewide opinion survey by clicking here and going to the “Take the Blueprint Nebraska Survey” button on the home page. Approximately 6,000 responses have been given online already.
Blueprint Nebraska is new, the creation of University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds and Gov. Pete Ricketts. It bills itself as a citizen-led, statewide economic development initiative which seeks to establish a comprehensive and pro-active plan to stimulate economic growth.
Blueprint Nebraska is chaired by Owen Palm, CEO of 21st Century Holdings, and Lance Fritz, Chairman, CEO of Union Pacific.
Smith says he wants to public input to help identify challenges facing the state as Blueprint Nebraska establishes goals and builds incentives to reach them.
Smith, a former state senator, hopes to have a plan in place by the middle of next year.
“We have so many things going for us: good transportation, good infrastructure,” according to Smith. “We need to leverage those things to make Nebraska the jewel of the Midwest.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]