By JOB VIGIL jvigil@nptelegraph.com Nov 28, 2018 | North Platte Telegraph Blueprint Nebraska visits North Platte

State business and industry leaders with Blueprint Nebraska are seeking to coordinate ideas with the common goal of making sure Nebraska’s future continues to get better.

“Blueprint Nebraska is a private-sector-led effort to create a plan for economic growth, competitiveness and prosperity of all Nebraska,” said Jim Smith, executive director. “All Nebraska is important in this process, and greater Nebraska has to have a win out of this process for this to be successful.”

North Platte community members from all disciplines, including business and education, participated in the forum. A panel was led by the co-chairs of Blueprint Nebraska, Lance Fritz, CEO of Union Pacific Corp., and Owen Palm, CEO of 21st Century Holdings.

North Platte participants in the panel were Mid-Plains Community College President Ryan Purdy; Justin Fote, an ag producer from Paxton; Mel McNea, CEO at Great Plains Health; and North Platte Mayor Dwight Livingston.

North Platte Public Schools Superintendent Ron Hanson brought 16 high school seniors who make up the Student Advisory Council. They were given the opportunity to speak as well.

One student said, “There aren’t as many jobs you can use a degree for in North Platte.” The unidentified student said that at a recent job fair, “all the jobs were geared to the railroad, post office, and the job market (in North Platte) is just not what I want to do.”