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Legislative task force eyes initiatives to develop Nebraska workforce
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Legislative task force eyes initiatives to develop Nebraska workforce

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The Legislature's economic development task force has recommended a number of initiatives to respond to workforce demands, including a student loan repayment option. 

"Our state faces a mismatch between available workers and the skills needed by employers," Sen. Kate Bolz of Lincoln, chair of the task force, said Monday.

"Specific shortage areas include information technology, science, technology, engineering and math, building trades and more," she said.

Workforce development recommendations included:

* Supporting a data system to identify gaps in the education and training system and responding to those needs.

* Investing in apprenticeship programs aligned with high-demand skills and industries.

* Developing a career education scholarship program for students pursuing careers in high-demand, high-skill, high-wage jobs.

"Nebraska has difficulty retaining and attracting young talent," Sen. John Arch of La Vista said. "Our state has one of the lowest growth rates for the population of 25 to 29 years old.

"Overall, Nebraska has an annual 'workforce deficit' of 24,000 per year," he said.

"Our recommendations provide short- and long-term strategies for promoting good jobs and vibrant communities," Arch said.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSdon

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