Nebraska currently has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, and the state’s manufacturing employment has surpassed pre-pandemic levels to reach the highest point since the Great Recession. While this has led to opportunities, it also presents a challenge for the state’s talent pipeline. New initiatives to grow the workforce, such as the Developing Youth Talent Initiative, Nebraska Career Scholarships and Registered Apprenticeship Program, hope to fill the gaps. Kawasaki, Facebook, Amazon and ReCircled have all announced investments here in the past year.
Nebraska Advantage Act: Offers credits against sales tax, income tax and employee withholding obligations. Companies may be eligible for a refund of sales tax on a project’s capital purchases and real and personal property tax benefits and exemptions.
The Customized Job Training Program: Provides employee training assistance to businesses that expand and diversify the state’s economic base.
The Intern Nebraska Grant Program (InternNE): Provides financial assistance to businesses that create new internships. InternNE can reimburse up to 50% of an intern’s wages, up to $5,000 per internship and up to 75% of wages or $7,500 per internship for those receiving a Pell Grant.
Created in 2012 to grow the state’s startup climate, the Business Innovation Act continues to bear fruit. A 2020 report by the UNL Bureau of Business Research found BIA recipients report having created more than 1,100 direct jobs since receiving a BIA grant, up from 640 in 2018. Stakeholders say while part of the growth is due to more businesses receiving grants over time, it’s also evidence that the program is doing what it was de- signed to do—funded businesses are going on to raise private capital from outside Nevada, generate revenue and hire employees.
Four Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the state: