Why Lincoln, Why Now?
Lincoln needs qualified, skilled workers
“The number one problem identified by businesses expanding in our community is the availability of talent.” Mayor Chris Beutler, 2017
Lincoln continually ranks as one of the best places to do business in America. With low business costs, robust resources and incentives for locating in Nebraska, entrepreneurs, technology startups and advanced industries are laying the groundwork for exceptional growth. In 2016, the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development survey reported that 58% of the city’s business leaders had plans to expand and add jobs, but cited an inadequate supply of skilled workers as a barrier to their growth.
Bridge the Gap between College and Career
The obvious place to address workforce needs is the educational pipeline that produces it. In 2016, Lincoln public high schools posted a graduation rate of 85.6 percent and over the past eight years, 62% of public high school graduates have enrolled in post-secondary institutions immediately after high school. While these benchmarks are notable, completion of a college degree is achieved by just 38% of those who enroll immediately after high school. In addition, achievement gaps persist for minority and low-income students who have significantly lower college graduation rates than their majority counterparts who complete degree programs at Nebraska colleges and universities. In an competitive economy where talent is crucial to improving the bottom line, sourcing from the largest and most diverse pool of candidates is increasingly necessary to succeed in the local, and global marketplaces.
Education Strengthens Our Community
As the workforce develops educationally, the entire community – not just those owning businesses – stands to benefit substantially from the social and fiscal multipliers associated with increased postsecondary attainment. Social multipliers include increased earnings, better health, reduced crime and reduced welfare dependence. College graduates are 3.5 times less likely to be impoverished and 5 times less likely to be incarcerated. A larger, wider tax base, a broader workforce for employers and increased capital investment are significant fiscal gains seen in communities where college degrees multiply.