The Nebraska Chamber Manufacturing Summit, sponsored by RSM, was held on Thursday, October 24, 2019, with over 200 representatives of Nebraska manufacturing. Topics included in the program were an "Economic Update" by Joe Brusuelas, Chief Economist from RSM; "Industry and Innovation" by Brian Ardinger, Inside Outside Innovation Summit; "Bueprint Nebraska and how it pertains to Manufacturing" by Jim Smith of Blueprint Nebraska; "Women in Manufacturing update" by Emily Williams, President, WiM/Nebraska; and a panel discussion on "Next-Generation Manufacturing." After lunch Governor Ricketts discussed "Manufacturing in Nebraska" and the, along with Nebraska Chamber President, Bryan Slone, congratulated the 2019 Manufacturers of the Year: Preferred Popcorn and Valmont Industries.
CEO Norm Krug started Preferred Popcorn in 1997 with three other farmers in the Platte River area. The goal was growing high-quality, high-integrity popcorn for the world.
Today, Preferred Popcorn does just that with worldwide market potential equal to two-thirds of the population, and one of the highest customer retention rates in the industry. Still led by a team of producers who personally oversee the integrity of their project, the company employs highly qualified teams using the latest storage and processing technology.
Recent achievements include:
Nebraska is the No. 1 state for popcorn production, thanks to companies like Preferred Popcorn.
Founded in 1946 in Valley, Valmont Industries is a global leader in products that support critical infrastructure essential for economic and agricultural growth. It grew out of the invention and commercialization of the center pivot irrigation structure. The company is focused on conserving resources and improving life through:
More than 10,000 dedicated employees at over 83 facilities across the globe serve customers in 100 different countries. Workforce training will be critical to continued growth.
Valmont Industries consistently creates value for customers and shareholders in both the short- and long-term. Valmont is an important part of Nebraska's economic well-being and a company that continues to grow around the world.
Highlights from the Nebraska Chamber 2019 Manufacturing Summit
Top: Over 200 representatives of Nebraska manufacturers begin the day with an economic forecast by RSM US LLP.
Bottom left: State Senator John Lowe greets attendees during a break. Bottom right: Nebraska Chamber President Bryan Slone discusses initiatives designed to move more qualified workers into manufacturing jobs.