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Public Statements

Workforce Development Summit Set For October 7-8

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By Governor Mike Johanns

September 26, 2003

Dear Nebraska Neighbors:

When it comes to Nebraska's future, a competitive workforce is not only valuable it's crucial. Economic development simply cannot exist if our workforce is not prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century. That's why workforce development continues to be a priority of my administration.

With this in mind, we have assembled a team of education, employment, business, health care and economic development leaders to plan the Fourth Annual Governor's Summit on Workforce Development. The Summit, titled "Partnerships for a Competitive Workforce," will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Lincoln October 7-8, and is open to public registration. Its purpose is to bring people from a variety of interests and backgrounds to the table to discuss how we can meet our workforce development challenges and plan for our future.

A large portion of the Summit is devoted specifically to education and job skills issues because in order for our state to stay competitive, we must have a workforce that has the skills employers are looking for. We believe the Summit will help educators learn what skills employers are seeking and how to help meet their workforce needs.

The Summit will also give employers the opportunity to learn valuable information about the demographics of our workforce and the human resource needs of our workers. We believe it will serve as an excellent opportunity for employers to learn about valuable resources in Nebraska that can help with workforce needs.

The Summit offers a wide array of keynote and concurrent sessions. Dr. Willard Daggett, founder and president of the International Center for Leadership in Education, will be one of three keynote speakers. He will speak about moving the education system toward more rigorous and relevant skills and knowledge for all students. Dr. Mary Pipher, best-selling author, psychotherapist and adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska, will address special issues related to immigration and the workforce. And last, but certainly not least, Robert Jones, president and CEO of the National Alliance of Business, will speak on training issues and investing in people.

Concurrent sessions will be devoted to such topics as increasing human effectiveness, proactive community approaches to workforce development, health care education, Essential Education, rural workforce development in today's changing economy, cohesive work environments and employment resources for Nebraska businesses. The concurrent sessions will showcase partnerships that are taking place right here in Nebraska that are helping meet the needs of employers and workers in our state.

Ultimately, attention to workforce development helps us keep workers in this state. We need to do a better job of showing workers the opportunities that are available right here in Nebraska. People tend to settle where they can find good jobs. We can help keep good workers in Nebraska by helping them find opportunities for success. Relevant job training is essential to that effort.

Nebraska's Work Ethic ranks second to none and we want to help these hard working people find the employment success they need to build better lives and build an even better "Nebraska United."
For more information on the Governor's Summit or to register on-line, visit www.nebraskaworkforce.com. Registrations will also be accepted the day of the event.

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