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I hope that everyone had a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend! As we spend long weekends with family and friends, I hope each of you joined me in remembering the brave servicemen and women who sacrificed themselves to give us the freedom and liberties we enjoy every day in the great state of Nebraska.
On June 4th, I attended the South Sioux City Area Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Lunch. I presented a wrap up of this year’s legislative session and answered questions. It is always encouraging to see so many engaged constituents at local meetings. With the recent grain elevator explosion in the city, I have been inspired to hear of the fast acting and vigilant first responders that have been working to contain the situation. My prayers are with those who have been affected by the explosion.
On June 6th the Omaha Storm Chasers held their annual Ag Night presented by the Nebraska Farm Bureau. I attended to speak with fellow agricultural producers and discuss the E-15 story that I shared in my last newsletter and in the Omaha World-Herald on May 24th.
As Chair of the Business and Labor Committee, I have the pleasure of sitting on multiple workforce related boards and learning extensively about the business climate in Nebraska. The Nebraska Workforce Development Board convenes quarterly with state, regional, and local workforce development systems with the goals of enhancing the capacity and performance of Nebraska’s workforce, improving outcomes of Federally-funded and other workforce programs, and promoting economic growth. The Board held a meeting on June 8th to discuss state and local workforce development plans, Registered Apprenticeship programs, and review labor availability studies and talent initiatives. It is estimated that in 2018 nearly $7 million will be allotted from state and local sources for youth, adult, and dislocated worker programs through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
Nebraska offers a Registered Apprenticeship program through the Department of Labor. In October 2016, the Department received an ApprenticeshipUSA State Accelerator Grant that provided additional assistance to the Registered Apprenticeship program. The Department was happy to report that over the course of the grant term, employers with Registered Apprenticeship programs increased by 24%, including new programs in the healthcare and manufacturing industries. The Registered Apprenticeship system combines supervised on-the-job training with technical classroom instruction in subjects related to the apprentice’s chosen occupation. Apprenticeship has been proven to be a very successful strategy for preparing skilled workers to help America compete effectively in the global economy. The apprentice has the opportunity to earn a living while gaining skills, and pay raises are awarded throughout the program as skills increase. Employers and those looking to gain skills, while earning a wage can go to https://dol.nebraska.gov/EmploymentAndTraining/Training/RegisteredApprenticeship to learn more about the awesome apprenticeship programs being offered across the state and at home in District 17.
The Department of Labor also offers Worker Training Grants to promote retention of Nebraska Workers, promote the expansion of Nebraska businesses and increase their competitive edge, and train new employees of expanding Nebraska businesses. Employers or labor organizations that are seeking to secure training for demand occupations in a particular industry can apply to receive grants that will assist in retaining employees, supporting apprenticeship programs, supporting training programs, and supporting small business and entrepreneurial training. More information about the application and grant process can be found at: https://dol.nebraska.gov/EmploymentAndTraining/Training/WorkerTrainingProgram.
Nebraska offers many more programs and resources aimed at developing, expanding, and retaining our workforce. Resources for both job seekers and employers can be found at https://dol.nebraska.gov/EmploymentAndTraining or by calling 402-471-9000.
I want to encourage my constituents to reach out to me, I look forward to hearing from you!
Senator Joni Albrecht
State Capitol, Room 2010
PO Box 94604
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-4604