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Companies search for skilled workers in Nebraska

Posted: 6:33 PM, Feb 27, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-28 00:55:32Z

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska's unemployment rate is currently one of the lowest in the country, sitting at 2.8-percent; and employers say they're having a hard time finding skilled workers.

Claas and Graepel launched a German apprenticeship program Wednesday to help develop the skilled workers they're looking for.

It's called Industry Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (ICATT. )

ICATT is only apprenticeship fully bench marked on the German dual education system which combines company specific knowledge with hands on learning.

“It’s going to give credibility to what these programs really are about,” Gov. Pete Ricketts said. “Everyone knows the reputation for advanced manufacturing and their ability to train people to take those jobs so this is very, very exciting.”

“Those companies set the training standards,” Mark Tomkins, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest said. “What do they need, they promote the concept of apprenticeship out into the schools and work with government to ensure the local schools are up to the task of training that future workforce.”

Gov. Ricketts said there are more than 10,000 jobs available in the state right now; the trouble is finding skilled workers.

At University of Nebraska-Omaha, Wednesday, 135 organizations participated in a job fair for students. Joe Hayes, UNO Employer Relations, said UNO graduates are in such high demand they have a waiting list of more organizations wanting to participate in the job fair.

The fair is meant to give UNO students a competitive edge on their competition.

“Sometimes they apply online but there is something magical about being able to connect with that employer face to face,” Hayes said. “And being able to articulate their skills, abilities and how they may be able to fit in with an organization.”

“For the most part, a lot of them do have immediate openings,” Brett Hoxie, UNO Senior said. “It’s just how you sell yourself. I just feel like there’s so much opportunity here.”