'Blueprint Nebraska' has worthy goals, but a long way to go

Thursday, August 1, 2019

If “Blueprint Nebraska” comes to naught, it won’t be for lack of preparation.

Top business groups like the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry, state and University of Nebraska officials assembled 320 advisors to oversee 60 events involving 2,000 participants, including 275 members with “sector expertise,” covering 30 regions of the state, with input from 5,000 residents to identify 60 potential initiatives.

Unveiled Tuesday, the result has some impressive goals for the state by 2030:

-- Create 25,000 jobs.

-- Make Nebraska a top-three state in which to live.

-- Bring 43,000 new2 18-34 year-old residents to the state.

-- Add $15,000 to the annual income of every Nebraskan.

-- Secure additional annual investment in research and development of $200 million.

How will all that be done?

Blueprint Nebraska outlined 15 high-priority initiatives:

-- Promote internships, apprenticeships and other “customized workforce solutions.”

-- Revamp education at all levels

-- Promote diversity

-- Launch a “Choose Nebraska” campaign

-- Make targeted investments in communities.

-- Increase rural broadband and scale up 5G networking.

-- Improve transportation.

-- Add 30,000 to 50,000 housing units.

-- Revamp the tax structure to promote growth.

-- “Reimagine” government services.

-- Optimize incentives strategies.

-- Diversify, expand and improve agri-business.

-- Create entrepreneurship zones and innovation hubs.

-- Create a manufacturing innovation center.

-- Develop financial tech, banking and insurance tech partnerships.

Those 15 initiatives are designed to transform Nebraska by 2030 to:

-- create the best odds in the country of landing a good job and enjoying a good life.

-- Give Nebraska the best mid-sized metro area transit, the most arts, culture and recreation per capita, and the most vibrant rural main streets in the country.

-- Make Nebraska the easiest place to live, work and start or grow a business, thanks to the most efficient state government in the country.

-- Build the agricultural technology hub of the world and make Nebraska the best place in the country to bring automation and other tech innovation to diverse industries.

Cynics will naturally find some of the goals laughable, especially after watching the Legislature struggle, and fail, to make major reforms to the state’s property tax structure.

And, reforming government at any level involves struggling against entrenched bureaucracy.

Taken together, Blueprint Nebraska’s goals and aspirations are the equivalent of JFK’s call to land on the moon before 1970.

Achieving even a few of them, however, will be a good first step.

-- More information and the complete report is available at blueprint-nebraska.org

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: