Ricketts Celebrates Manufacturing at Behlen Mfg. Co.
Gov. Pete Ricketts on Wednesday made a stop in Columbus to spotlight companies contributing to the state’s manufacturing output and the overall economy.
Ricketts signed a proclamation denoting October as Manufacturing Month throughout Nebraska and as part of the festivities, made a stop at Columbus’ own Behlen Mfg. Co., which is celebrating its 35th year as a local, family-owned enterprise.
Although Ricketts was cognizant of the contributions that Nebraska’s agricultural base makes to the state, he made a point of talking about the influence that manufacturing provides to the state’s bottom line.
“Everybody knows that agriculture is our No. 1 industry, but manufacturing is No. 2,” Ricketts said. “It contributes over $13 billion to our state’s economy every year. One in 10 non-farm jobs are employed in manufacturing and there are lots of great careers.
“One of the things we want to do today is highlight what Behlen is doing around our Registered Apprenticeship program and Youth Apprenticeship programs, which we’ve grown around 44 percent in the state of Nebraska.”
The excitement was palpable as a cross-section of employees at Behlen got the opportunity to hear Ricketts speak on a wide variety of topics, including the aforementioned apprenticeship programs that Behlen has played a key contributor. A luncheon was held beforehand with three apprentices, all students at Columbus and Lakeview high schools, as well as a wide variety of public officials and community leaders, including Columbus Mayor Jim Bulkley, Chamber President Jeanne Schieffer, Behlen President and CEO Phil Raimondo and representatives from all three Columbus school districts.
Zach Roth is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com.
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