The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry testified this week on two bills that members consider important to building a next-generation workforce in Nebraska.
The bills are designed to enhance communities’ ability to attract workforce, promote long-term, full-time employment, and meet statewide economic development goals.
LB773, introduced by Senator Matt Williams, would appropriate an additional $10 million in general funding for the Rural Workforce Housing Fund administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. The 2017 appropriation of $7 million has resulted in $80 to $100 million of private investment in affordable rural housing across the state.
Nebraska Chamber President Bryan Slone spoke in support of Governor Pete Ricketts’ recommendation to direct $4 million to higher education scholarships to help students pursue high-wage, high-skill and high-demand careers in Nebraska. The program is expected to fund 570 career scholarships in 2020-2021 at the University of Nebraska and state and community colleges.
“Homes are where jobs sleep. To attract new families and high-skill workers to Nebraska, we need a boost in affordable housing,” said Slone. “And, the Governor’s career scholarships provide needed resources and flexibility to help our post-secondary institutions build our workforce.”
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