-  This week, The Manufacturing Institute convened the Dream It. Do It. Executive Committee in Omaha, NE for the biannual Dream It. Do It. Executive Meeting.  The Nebraska Dream It. Do It. team, including Tony Raimondo, chairman and coach, Behlen Mfg. Co., hosted the Executive Committee, now in its 7th year of exciting young people and their teachers and parents about manufacturing careers and recruiting the next generation of skilled manufacturing talent.  Almost 40 manufacturing executives, education leaders, workforce and economic development officials from 15 states gathered to share best-practices, lessons-learned, and replicable solutions for attracting and educating the future manufacturing workforce. 

The Executive Committee toured Valmont Industries and Behlen Mfg. Co., witnessing first-hand the technology-infused advanced manufacturing that provides high-paying, high-skill jobs to communities across the country and drives our economic and national security.  The team had the opportunity to speak with front-line production workers and plant managers about their education and jobs, getting real-life perspectives of what it takes to have a career in today's manufacturing environment. 

Gathering at Gallup, Inc. in the afternoon, the Executive Committee discussed strategies for engaging the entire workforce pipeline continuum, from investments in early childhood education to re-engaging adult working learners.  Speakers on early childhood education included Pete Festersen, president, Strategic Business Development, and Sara Watson, senior officer, Pew Center on the States and director, Partnership for America's Economic Success,The Pew Charitable Trusts.  Patrick Lane, project coordinator, Policy Analysis and Research, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), presented on the importance of engaging adult working learners to reach the nation's college completion goal and to ensure manufacturers have access to the most talented and technically-skilled individuals.   The Institute was also honored to have its vice chair of the Board of Trustees, Ron Bullock, chairman, Bison Gear, participate in the meeting on behalf of Dream It. Do It. Illinois. 

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