Legislative Forum in Broken Bow Focuses on Blueprint Nebraska’s Vision

Legislative Forum in Broken Bow Focuses on Blueprint Nebraska’s Vision
(L-R) Blueprint Nebraska Exec. Director Jim Smith, Deb Kennedy, Bill Adams, Deb McCaslin, Ron Sedlacek during the Nebraska Chamber Legislative Forum held in Broken Bow on Tuesday morning

BROKEN BOW—Boosting prosperity for all residents is the name of the game to grow the “good life” and Blueprint Nebraska has recently released its long-term, strategic plan to do just that.

One of 30 Nebraska Chamber Legislative Forums welcomed community leaders to Adams Land and Cattle in Broken Bow on Tuesday morning. Blueprint Nebraska Executive Director and former Papillion State Senator Jim Smith presented a briefing of the results of Blueprint Nebraska’s strategic planning process that took place during the last year.

“We also want to be welcoming to all those outside of our state that are looking for a place to build their career, build their business and so we are attractive in bringing that population into our state as well,” Smith said.

Jim Smith (front left) discusses the initiatives for Blueprint Nebraska

Blueprint-Nebraska.org defines itself as “a strategic plan to continue ‘growing the good life’ for all Nebraskans in the years to come.” In order to do that, Blueprint Nebraska gathered feedback from more than 7,000 Nebraskans statewide, gathered through a survey, 60 public meetings, and the insights of 320 advisory council members representing diverse regions and business sectors across the state.

The Blueprint Nebraska report is the result of a year-long, citizen-led economic development strategic planning process that encompasses a vision, five aspirations, four growth themes, and 15 supporting initiatives.

Job Growth, Quality of Life, Young Population, Income, Research and Development Investment

Growth Themes:
People, Places, Government, Sectors

On Tuesday morning, Executive Director Jim Smith said the 15 initiatives laid out have been narrowed down from 60 with Deb McCaslin saying “community vitality was key” throughout the whole process.

According to a press release, the Blueprint Nebraska initiatives strive to do the following by the year 2030:
• Make Nebraska a top-three state to live in according to various national rankings
• Create 25,000 jobs
• Grow annual income of Nebraskans by $15,000
• Add 43,000 18 to 34-year-old residents in Nebraska
• Boost research and development investment by $200 million annually

As part of the government and sector-based growth themes, Smith encouraged Tuesday morning’s crowd and all Nebraskans to have a clear understanding of tax exemptions and their impact on the state’s economy.

“We want to build a tax strategy and an incentive strategy around our goals of what we want to be as a state,” Smith said regarding tax exemptions within the big picture of Nebraska’s economic growth.

In addition Smith discussed the diversification and expansion of one of Nebraska’s greatest opportunities: agriculture.

“So what we propose here is to diversify, expand, and improve the productivity of Nebraska’s ag-business cluster,” Smith said, adding that because Nebraska dominates in ag production, it should also dominate in agriculture-technology partnerships with research and development to bring in more value-added processes back into the state.

Visit www.blueprint-nebraska.org to view the full report and the summary report.