Manufacturing

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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 nearly 1,700 manufacturing facilities.
  • Manufacturing employs approximately 100,000 Nebraska workers.
  • Manufacturing contributes almost $14 billion annually in Nebraska’s total economic output.
  • Nebraska’s average annual employee compensation in manufacturing is around $58,600, compared to an average of $44,500 for other private, non-farm sectors.
  • In 2015, roughly $6.5 billion of manufactured goods were exported from Nebraska.

Dirk Petersen, the former vice president/general manager at Norfolk’s NUCOR Steel and the immediate past chair of the State Chamber, 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.”

Every autumn, the Nebraska Chamber works with the governor to recognize October as Manufacturing Month in Nebraska. State Chamber staff accompanies Governor Ricketts in a tour of manufacturing facilities and educational institutions across the state.

Since 2008, the State Chamber and RSM – a leading provider of assurance, tax and consulting services to the manufacturing and wholesale distribution industries – have partnered to present the Nebraska Manufacturer of the Year Award. 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 2017, Exmark Manufacturing of Beatrice and Garner Industries of Lincoln were named Nebraska’s manufacturers of the year by the Nebraska Chamber.

In previous years, the Manufacturer of the Year Award has gone to Endicott Clay Products of Fairbury, Novozymes of Blair, Lozier Corporation of Omaha, Sargent Pipe Company of Broken Bow, 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 Manufacturing of Columbus and Reinke Manufacturing of Deshler.