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Manufacturing is Nebraska’s second largest industry and represents a large portion of the State Chamber’s membership. That is why the State Chamber pays special attention to Nebraska’s business conditions and workforce as they impact manufacturers.

Here are some impressive facts about Nebraska’s manufacturing sector:

• Nebraska is home to approximately 1,700 manufacturing facilities.

• Manufacturing employs nearly 100,000 Nebraska workers.

• Manufacturing contributes nearly $14 billion annually in Nebraska’s total economic output.

• Nebraska’s average annual employee compensation in manufacturing is around $58,300, compared to an average of $42,633 for other private, non-farm sectors.

• In 2014, roughly $6.5 billion of manufactured goods were exported from Nebraska. That was 83 percent of the total value of all goods exported from Nebraska – highlighting the importance of manufacturing and the value-added process to Nebraska’s economy.

Dirk Petersen, vice president/general manager at Norfolk’s NUCOR Steel, says manufacturing in Nebraska is vital to keeping our state healthy and strong.

“Numerous high-paying jobs are provided by the manufacturing sector, allowing our children to have the opportunity to remain in our state as opposed to finding jobs elsewhere,” Petersen said. “A strong manufacturing base not only generates manufacturing jobs, but also provides jobs in support functions such as trucking, energy, the service industry and other sectors of the economy. With the reduction in the amount of employees needed in agriculture, this is especially important in a state like ours.”

Chris Roth, president and CEO of Deshler’s Reinke Manufacturing, said: “Manufacturing is the state’s second largest industry. Manufacturers can be found all across Nebraska, in all kinds of different sizes and industries. Manufacturing jobs pay well, too – with an average annual compensation of over $50,000. It is a great time to be in manufacturing in Nebraska.”

Last year, the Nebraska Chamber worked with the governor to recognize October as Manufacturing Month in Nebraska. State Chamber staff participated with Governor Ricketts in a tour of several manufacturing facilities across the state.

In recent years, the State Chamber and RSM – a leading provider of assurance, tax and consulting services to the manufacturing and wholesale distribution industries – have partnered to recognize the Nebraska Manufacturer of the Year. The award is presented annually to Nebraska manufacturers that successfully implement innovative ways of conducting business through the use of products, processes, technologies and strategies.

In 2015, Lozier Corporation of Omaha and Sargent Pipe Company of Broken Bow were named Nebraska Manufacturers of the Year. Sargent Pipe received the award for small-sized manufacturers, while Lozier received the award for large manufacturers. In previous years, Manufacturer of the Year awards have been given to Hornady Manufacturing of Grand Island, Lincoln Industries of Lincoln, Smeal Fire Apparatus of Snyder, NUCOR Steel of Norfolk, Chief Industries of Grand Island, Orthman Manufacturing of Lexington, Snyder Industries of Lincoln, Majors Plastics of Omaha, Behlen Mfg. of Columbus, and Reinke Manufacturing of Deshler.

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