Nebraska Construction Industry Council Coming Very Soon

Nebraska Construction Industry Council Coming Very Soon

by Jean Petsch, Nebraska Building Chapter AGC

If all goes as planned, the Nebraska Construction Industry Council (NCIC) hopes to have its first council meeting and be underway by early September.

The newly formed NCIC’s mission will be to champion construction careers in Nebraska with the hope of being the primary statewide resource for information and opportunities about careers in the construction industry in the state. The goals of NCIC will be to improve the image and awareness of construction careers to students, parents, educators and community, along with hoping to improve the quality and quantity of people coming into the construction industry for employment.

The first initiatives of the NCIC will be to develop a marketing plan/branding campaign to reach the target population; develop a Nebraska construction careers website; produce a series of videos to feature the vast array of positions and salary/wage data for positions in Nebraska; establish an ongoing partnership with SkillsUSA; provide a channel to connect students with industry folks in all their areas of interest in construction and encourage NCIC sponsors to support the “career academy model” of education, along with supporting Career and Technical Education Programs in Nebraska schools.

The NCIC will be a collaborative effort between the construction professional/trade associations that choose to be a council supporter. This model has the benefit of giving the entire industry an opportunity to participate in a strategic effort at a much lower cost than if each group repeated the effort individually by organization. Each supporting association will appoint one construction executive to represent their segment of the industry on the council. The council will have 7-10 voting Industry Council Members. In addition, there will be 7-10 non-voting Advisory Members to support the work of the council. The Advisory members will include representatives from Nebraska Department of Labor, Department of Economic Development and Department of Education. Additionally, supporting association staff will have the opportunity to be Advisory Members.

The Nebraska Department of Labor will provide a limited amount of administrative support and will host the Council meetings at their office.

Last fall, Jean Petsch was asked by the Nebraska Commissioner of Labor to take a leadership role in developing and launching the Construction Career Council. In turn, she asked seven Nebraska Building Chapter members to join in the planning taskforce. The taskforce has donated many hours to the fact finding, study, discussion and development of the business plan for the Council. Thanks and gratitude goes to the following folks who worked on this project:

  • Matt Firestone, Commonwealth Electric, Lincoln
  • Becky Golden, formerly with Kiewit, Omaha
  • Jerry Huismann, Lacy Construction Company, Grand Island
  • Wes Oestreich, Cheever Construction, Lincoln
  • Jean Petsch, Associated General Contractors Nebraska Building Chapter, Lincoln
  • Mark Pope, Hawkins Construction, Omaha
  • Gabe Ronk, Midlands Mechanical, Omaha
  • Dan Vokoun, Sampson Construction, Lincoln

The construction industry has an image problem. Students, parents and educators do not see construction as a highly desirable career path mainly because they don’t understand or have an awareness of all the many facets and opportunities available at many different entry points. Likewise, many in this group do not realize the economic stability a career in construction can provide.

The Construction Industry Council will provide an opportunity for the industry to share information, demonstrate opportunities and provide information to enable students and their parents to evaluate construction career options as their career of choice and provide the resources to help them succeed. As a result, the industry will benefit with an increasing influx of well-prepared and motivated workers to supplement and grow their businesses.