Omaha-Based Appsky LLC Owners Recognized as SBA Nebraska Small Business Persons of the Year 2022

After Taylor Korensky graduated from the Information Technology Innovation program at the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2016, it didn’t take him long to realize that the Omaha tech market needed more custom software design and development solutions for local businesses. This led to his creation of Appsky, LLC in November of 2016 – a “custom software development agency based in Omaha, Nebraska that specializes in the design and development of mobile and web applications, using the latest scalable cloud technologies, for organizations and SaaS-based companies.” Fellow UNO graduates Spencer Robinson and Jade Jensen joined the company soon afterwards as the Chief Technology Officer (Robinson) and Appsky’s first employee and now Chief Operations Officer (Jensen). Jensen and Robinson are also co-owners.

Appsky has experienced enormous growth, both in sales and number of employees. Between 2019 and 2021, total sales increased by almost $1M, and Appsky is currently at nine full-time employees and has a network of contractors. This growth, coupled with the owners’ dedication to helping their local community, led them to be nominated for and selected as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Nebraska Small Business Persons of the Year for 2022. The Small Business Person of the Year Award is given as part of National Small Business Week, and recognizes businesses that have experienced high growth in both revenue and employees, have overcome adversity, and that contribute substantially to their communities.

Appsky’s sales growth didn’t come easily, and in 2018 Korensky and Jensen turned to SBA’s resource partner, the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) for assistance seeking working capital to keep his business afloat in its early days. They met with an NBDC consultant for help developing a business plan and financial projections that enabled them to get a loan through an SBA Microlending partner, the Nebraska Enterprise Fund. The pandemic also presented a unique challenge to the young company, but they were able to pivot to remote work and actually experienced phenomenal sales growth throughout the pandemic.

Part of Appsky’s success and staying power is the dedication of the owners to community development. Korensky is a member of the Nebraska Tech Collaborative, a business-led workforce initiative that brings together leaders from the government, education and non-profit communities to develop, attract and retain tech-talent in Nebraska. Korensky is also a core organizer for Tech Omaha, which provides networking opportunities for those in the tech field, and a member of the Omaha Executives Association.

Appsky’s motto “why wait to be great” is apt – they are a shining example of how hard work, perseverance and dedication to the community can skyrocket a business to success – even during a pandemic!

Melinda Meyer Joins Nebraska Tech Collaborative to Lead Partnership Development 

Omaha, Neb. (December 15, 2022) – The Nebraska Tech Collaborative, an Aksarben Initiative, is excited to announce new Partnership Director, Melinda Meyer. Meyer will act as the liaison between the Nebraska Tech Collaborative (NTC) and potential partners while growing partnerships with goals established in tandem with the NTC Executive Director.  In addition, she will oversee the Next Pioneer Program. 

The Next Pioneers Program, part of the NTC, is launching its first cohort in January 2023. This group of connectors and entrepreneurs who positively impact Nebraska’s tech talent ecosystem, are working to eliminate friction for future builders and innovators across the state while demonstrating to the rest of the country that Nebraska is the best place to start and grow a business. 

The Nebraska Tech Collaborative was launched by the Aksarben Foundation in 2019 as a response to business leaders’ call to action for more tech-talent. With over 50,000 available jobs in the state, and nearly all jobs being tech specific, or tech enabled, the need for talent continues to grow. The NTC partners with business, education, not-for-profit, and civic leaders statewide to identify friction points and potential solutions.  

“We are very excited to have Melinda join the NTC team! Her skillsets and strong teamwork will help the NTC and our many partners advance the Nebraska tech talent ecosystem,” says NTC Executive Committee Chair, Mike Lechtenberger.   

Melinda Meyer is a community engagement leader with roots in Omaha branching throughout the state to connect dots between creators and activators.  

Earning a psychology degree from UNO and an industrial organizational psychology master’s degree from Bellevue University, Meyer has designed and executed partner outreach strategies across greater Omaha nonprofits and is an active volunteer and board member for youth, arts, and educational missions. 

If you or your organization are interested in learning more about the Nebraska Tech Collaborative, or for more information on how to become a partner organization, please visit For more information about the Aksarben Foundation, visit

About Aksarben Foundation 

Established in 1895, Aksarben is a unified network of business and community leaders committed to preserving and expanding prosperity in our heartland communities through advancements in education, workplace development and civic projects born from effective private, public, and philanthropic partnerships.   

Measuring Employee Perceptions 

By Inclusion Analytics

It is impossible to understand the true impact of DEI practices without examining how employees experience the workplace. This blog will cover the measurement of employee perceptions in two parts: perceptions of policies and practices and perceptions of the inclusion culture.  

Perceptions of policies and practices 

Any leader or taskforce member can probably tell you that there is nothing more frustrating than putting in a ton of work and money creating a program, policy, or resource to later find out that nobody knows it exists or, even worse, to find out it is having a negative effect on the intended beneficiaries. Asking employees some basic questions regarding the policies and practices organizations have implemented can illuminate whether they are having their intended impact. We will use the example of Employee Resources Groups

First, ask employees: Do you know whether your organization has Employee Resource Groups? If employees respond no to the question, the organization likely just needs to increase communication around the Employee Resource Group including the purpose of the group and who should consider joining. As with most gaps in knowledge, communication and education may be the solution.  

Second, ask employees: Do you feel supported by your Employee Resource Group? If employees respond no to the question, we know the resource is not having the intended impact. Communication may not be the solution to this challenge; instead, the structure, goals, and practices of ERGs may need to be examined. 

Perceptions of Inclusion Culture 

Finally, exploring your company’s inclusion culture can help identify whether the organizational culture is supportive and inclusive. Culture can seem ambiguous and hard to influence, so it may be helpful to think of more concrete elements that influence culture: belonging, exclusion, psychological safety, and fairness. 

Belonging considers whether employees feel they are a valued and important part of the organization. In contrast, exclusion focuses on feelings of being left out, for example, of important meetings or social functions. Fairness metrics examine employees’ belief that the same rules apply to everyone, and psychological safety is the feeling that an employee can voice opinions and ideas without fear of negative repercussions. 

Understanding employees’ experiences in these four areas allows leaders to develop – or perhaps better communicate – policies and programs to ensure the workplace is inclusive and welcoming for all workers. It is therefore critical to examine these four dimensions based on employee level and demographic information. Data may show that overall, employees feel positively about the inclusion culture, but different identity groups may have different experiences. For example, trans employees may feel like they have a psychologically safe environment to contribute their work-related input, but don’t feel like they can disclose an invisible identity. Knowing this information can identify the need to revisit policies such as norms around pronouns, healthcare, and more to ensure that all employees can show up to work as the person they truly are. 

Understanding where your organization falls from both an intention and an impact standpoint helps identify the best next step forward. Using data in DEI efforts should help guide decision-making and action, not lead to continual data collection or analysis paralysis. Ensuring progress and accountability through measurement will help improve the workplace for all. 


About Inclusion Analytics

Co-founders of Inclusion Analytics, Emily Adams and Laura Brooks Dueland, are both doctoral candidates in the Industrial/organizational Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Prior to the launch of Inclusion Analytics. Emily worked in post-secondary education administration, juvenile justice system reform, and behavioral health workforce development. Laura’s experience includes behavioral interviewing, promotional exam development, and human resources consulting in the areas of compensation and benefits. With research focus on validity and the execution of solutions aimed at reducing bias in the employee lifespan, both Emily and Laura aim to help organizations create a workplace that works for all.

Measuring Demographics 

By Inclusion Analytics

Organizational diversity has been an area of focus for many large organizations since the enactment of Affirmative Action in the 1960s. Below are answers to four important questions regarding the type of demographic data to collect and what to analyze once data is available to your organization. 

What types of demographic data could we collect? 

The three most common demographic data points collected by organizations are age, sex or gender, and race/ethnicity. Even without diversity goals, many organizations collect this information for other entities, such as government contracting requirements or to better allocate benefits. 

Other, less common categories, that may help you understand the needs of your workforce better are caregiving status, disability status, sexual orientation, veteran status, etc. Once your organization knows the type of demographic data it is ready to collect, there are many ways to analyze the data to answer important questions regarding representation.  

Is our workforce representative of our recruitment area population? 

The answer to this question is fairly simple if you have employee demographic data. Location representation comparisons can be found at the US census website using the population tables. Simply calculate the percentage of each demographic group within your organization ((group total/organization total)*100) and compare it to the demographic group within your recruiting area. If you have multiple locations, you should consider this analysis for each city in which the company is located.  

How does overall representation breakout by management level? 

Overall, representation within your organization is important, but understanding how that data disaggregates by job level answers a totally different question, so you may want to examine whether representation is equitable as you move up the management hierarchy. The first step to conducting analyses by level is to ensure each piece of data can be tied through your human resource information system (HRIS). For instance, job codes or families may need to be categorized based on level before breaking employee data down by demographics. Once complete, simply calculate percentages of each demographic group of interest by level. For example, if your gender breakdown at the lowest level of the organization is 50% men, 45% women, and 5% a third gender, the same proportions should be expected at each level up in the organization.  

What does representation in turnover look like? 

We influence the diversity of our workforce by both recruiting new employees and by retaining current employees. When individuals leave the organization, it is extremely important to know who is leaving and why. To answer the who, we simply keep tying demographic data to our databases. Tracking the demographics in turnover help us to know whether certain groups leave at greater rates than other groups. Similarly, involuntary turnover should be reviewed to examine whether certain groups are let go at higher rates than other groups. 

Answering the why is a little more complicated. Exit interviews in the form of one-on-one interviews or in survey format provide greater context for why employees leave. These interviews should be structured, standardized, and conducted outside the person’s direct reporting structure. Next, data should be analyzed by demographic group wherever possible to assess whether there are trends between groups.  

All in all, there are so many ways that the data your organization is already collecting can be analyzed to support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Whether the primary need is to expand recruitment and hiring or to expand development opportunities, data can help you create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.  


About Inclusion Analytics

Co-founders of Inclusion Analytics, Emily Adams and Laura Brooks Dueland, are both doctoral candidates in the Industrial/organizational Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Prior to the launch of Inclusion Analytics. Emily worked in post-secondary education administration, juvenile justice system reform, and behavioral health workforce development. Laura’s experience includes behavioral interviewing, promotional exam development, and human resources consulting in the areas of compensation and benefits. With research focus on validity and the execution of solutions aimed at reducing bias in the employee lifespan, both Emily and Laura aim to help organizations create a workplace that works for all.

Nebraska Has Become More Productive Since 2007

One common refrain that appears to be true is that Nebraska has high labor productivity compared to the rest of the United States.  Nebraska (the green line below) is more than 15% more productive than the Midwest, Iowa, and most other regions around the country.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only the west has seen regional growth higher than the State of Nebraska.

In fact, Nebraska’s labor market has been more productive than all but three states that drive the Western productivity – California, Colorado, and Washington.  These states have also seen rapid wage expansion over the time measured (2007-2021).  This has happened in Nebraska also – and nearly as significantly as has happened in these other states.

Wages20212007Percentage Growth

On this chart, Nebraska’s wages look (and are) significantly lower than California, Colorado, and Washington’s.  However, this is at least in part due to the difference in cost of living.  The cost of living in these western states is significantly higher than in Nebraska (according to[1]).  When comparing wages on a cost of living adjusted basis – Nebraska is competitive.  This is across all wages, and it does not necessarily mean that Nebraska technology jobs’ wages can be projected to be competitive with western jobs of the same type.  This is particularly true when comparing the extremes, as opposed to the averages.

State2021 in Cost of Living Adj. Wages
California $                            46,886.12
Colorado $                            52,808.33
Nebraska $                            56,888.65
Washington $                            57,711.36

Nebraska has shown a surprising ability to increase productivity compared to similarly situated states in the Midwest – making it competitive with the highest performing states in the country.  However, despite what many would believe, Nebraska has also seen strong wage growth and competitive wages as compared to these states when cost of living is also included.

While this is positive for Nebraska, it does represent a need to convey complex statistical analysis to explain why Nebraska is competitive.  This can often be challenging – particularly for a recruiter talking to an individual recruitee.  Thus, it is important that we do a better job as a state of providing information, like this blog, that can be utilized by our state’s recruiters to explain for them why working in Nebraska is actually a great career move.

[1] Cost of living by state 2022 [compare rates using COLI tool] |

Aksarben announces new Executive Director for its
Nebraska Tech Collaborative  

The Aksarben Foundation, a network of business and community leaders focused on the most critical issues facing the heartland, announces Shonna Dorsey as the new Executive Director of its Nebraska Tech Collaborative (NTC).

“Dorsey will lead the collective efforts to advance talent and entrepreneurial ecosystem development in Nebraska,” says Executive Committee Chair of the NTC, Mike Lechtenberger. “Shonna has a track record of success in tech workforce development, including her leadership of internship and career-change programs at NTC.”

NTC is excited to continue partnering with Nebraska’s business stakeholders and talent builders to grow tech talent for the current and long-term economic prosperity of the state. “We are fortunate to live in a great state and we are fortunate to have Shonna leading this important workforce initiative,” says Mike Lechtenberger.

Dorsey has been a part of the Nebraska Tech Collaborative since it’s start and brings with her vast leadership and relationship cultivation experience within the tech space.

A seasoned community leader with extensive volunteer and not-for-profit board experience, Dorsey has worked with several community organizations and has devoted significant personal efforts towards helping youth access opportunities to explore technology-related careers.

“Technology is always evolving, and so too is the challenge facing Nebraska in terms of tech-workers,” says Sandra Reding, “Each of us works in either a tech or a tech-enabled organization which makes the need for a tech-savvy workforce all the more pressing and the actions we take today will determine the trajectory of the state for the next twenty years to come.”

The Nebraska Tech Collaborative, a statewide workforce initiative, was launched by the Aksarben Foundation in 2019 as a response to business leaders call to action for more tech-talent. With over 50,000 available jobs in the state, and nearly all jobs being tech specific or tech enabled, the need for talent continues to grow.

Considering all possible solutions, including talent attraction, job up-skilling, and statewide DEI goals, the NTC developed four goals around which to direct all focus and strategy by the year 2025:

  1. Increase the number of tech workers by 10,000
  2. Help increase the number of tech start-up companies by 300
  3. Diversify the talent pool with 40% female and 20% underrepresented groups, and
  4. Increase Nebraska’s tech profile nationally and ecosystem throughout the state

“Shonna will be a tremendous addition to the NTC/Aksarben team,” says Mike Cassling, Aksarben Governor and Founding Chair of the NTC, “With her drive, determination, and proven track record of success in tech leadership, the NTC will be something to watch in 2023.”

If you or your organization are interested in learning more about the Nebraska Tech Collaborative, or for more information on how to become a partner organization, please visit For more information about the Aksarben Foundation, visit

Is the H-1B Program a Secret Weapon for Nebraska


Nebraska needs people.  Finding new ways to add population is essential to the long-term viability and growth of the technology industry in the state.  One program that has helped some companies in the region add personnel is the H-1B visa program.

The H-1B visa program is a U.S. government program that allows U.S. employers to employ foreign nationals with a specialized skill or specialized knowledge.  Many of these workers are in technical fields – particularly engineering and software development.  Once approved, the visa holder is granted temporary status for three years in the United States with the ability to apply for a rollover of an additional three years.  Thus, the program often allows a foreign technologist to live in the United States for six years.

The program has been consistently expanded over the years to its current size.  This expansion was driven both by company need and the relative success of the program.  Every year applications far outstrip total approved applications.  For example, for Fiscal Year 2021, the United States Center for Immigration Services approved approximately 130,000 applications from over 308,000 registrants.  According to Fragomen, the total applications for FY 2023 are over 483,000.

The applicants are selected from a the larger pool in a lottery format – meaning that some companies have been rumored to “over-apply” for employees seeking to work in the United States knowing that they will be reduced in number because of the over-supply of applications.

In 2018, the Pew Research Center provided analysis of the high-skilled H1B Visa program by geography (see their map below).  They concluded that certain Texas and coastal metropolitan areas had a disproportionate number of H-1B visa holders for the period 2010-2016.

The evaluation in the Pew research does limit the ability of the region to identify whether or not Nebraska is utilizing the program in Greater Nebraska.  However, it is clear from this and other similar data that Nebraska does not fully participate in the program – in the way that some other places do.  In a place that is short on people and long on jobs, the H-1B program is a key potential area of growth.  Our companies, particularly the larger ones, should be utilizing this program to the fullest extent possible.

Long term, the H-1B program also will provide some potential diversity to some Nebraska programs.  With many immigrants coming from South Asia and South America, the H-1B pipeline is also a mechanism to inculcate Nebraska with technologists from other parts of the world and with different lived experiences.  The NTC has identified this as a key goal, and so the H-1B program has the additional benefit of providing a pathway to many non-white technologists.

In short, immigration has long been a key means for Nebraska to grow (see the Landscape Analysis of 2019 and 2021).  Finding ways to work within ready-made programs, such as the H-1B program, seems like an opportunity for us to encourage – building our pipeline beyond just college graduates or boomerangs.

Omaha Jobs Goes Back to the Future

by Arjav Rawal, September 19, 2022  |  The Reader

In 2016, Nebraska commissioned a D.C.-based firm to provide a roadmap for the state’s economic development. The report, called “Nebraska’s Next Economy,” consisted of recommendations meant to solve Nebraska’s economic challenges. It identified four interrelated goals to strive for, with a set of policy recommendations for how to achieve them: high-wage jobs, technology-intensive investment, innovation and high-quality communities.

It’s been six years since the report was released. We may find it easy to forget just how much our country has changed since then. At the time, our economy was still recovering from the Great Recession. Donald Trump had yet to take office as president. The only public health crisis on people’s minds was Chipotle’s E.coli outbreak.

Given how much has changed, The Reader decided to revisit the report and take a look at what is being done in Nebraska and the Omaha area to meet these goals.

High-Wage Jobs

The Report: “The straightforward implication is that Nebraska’s economic development future cannot be based on growth that generates jobs of any kind, but rather growth that emphasizes high-quality jobs.”

The Solutions: In 2014, voters approved Initiative 425, which increased the statewide minimum wage from $7.25 per hour (where it sits federally) to $8 per hour in 2015 and $9 per hour in 2016. Data supplied by Dr. Chris Decker, an economist at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, shows that the move contributed to a 5.5% increase in real wages for the Omaha metro area in 2015. Wages remained stagnant largely until 2020, when real wage growth shot up to 7.1%. High-wage jobs, specifically the H3 (high wage, high skill, high demand) positions called for in the report, grew slowly. Between 2010 and 2018, the number of H3 jobs making up Nebraska’s total employment increased by 36,306, which is a 1.2% gain.

Technology-Intensive Investment

The Report: “Technology intensive and capital intensive investments may not always have a direct impact on jobs, but they are associated with higher wages, and make an important long-term contribution to overall growth.”

The Solutions: The Nebraska Tech Collaborative was formed with an ambitious goal in 2019: add 300 tech companies and 10,000 tech jobs by 2025. The state has added 147 tech companies, about halfway to its goal, but only created about 1,450 tech jobs, according to a 2022 NTC report. The increase in tech jobs isn’t limited to just startups — Mutual of Omaha, an institution in the local economy and Fortune 500 giant, told the Omaha World-Herald it has added 300 tech jobs since 2019 and has more than 1,300 employees in the tech sector. The NTC report says Omaha’s average tech salaries were slightly above $80,000 in 2021.


The Report: “A turn towards quality also requires a turn towards innovation based economic development, in which Nebraska’s economy fosters start-ups and rapidly growing small- and medium-sized businesses.”

The Solutions: Anecdotally, startup incubators are becoming more common in the private sector. Elevator, a co-warehousing facility for e-commerce startups, raised $600,000 this year to open a space at 14th and Jones. It’s like WeWork, but for businesses that sell physical goods and need storage for packing. There will be a team of onsite mentors to help guide and scale businesses. There’s also NMotion, a startup accelerator that’s pledged to invest $3.7 million into 24 Nebraska startups over the next two years. On the public side, the Nebraska Innovation Campus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which began development in 2013, has established more than 58 public-private partnerships and generated more than $300 million in economic development, according to its 2021 annual report.

High-Quality Communities

The Report: “If you keep or attract the right talent, established businesses and outsiders will invest more, and new businesses will be launched. Both Omaha and Lincoln have high quality of life … but there is always more to do and policies aligned around building community assets are critical for the long-run.”

The Solutions: Building a high-quality community is, arguably, the most polarizing debate in Omaha politics right now. Mayor Jean Stothert’s plans to revitalize downtown Omaha involve tearing down the W. Dale Clark Library, replacing it with a new headquarters for Mutual of Omaha, and developing a streetcar system that will run for three miles along Farnam and Harney streets. With the Clark library going away, plans are underway to build a new flagship branch at 72nd and Dodge. There’s also the newly redeveloped Gene Leahy Mall, which Stothert calls a destination for citizens and visitors alike. Much has been made of studies suggesting economic development will skyrocket with these changes. Only time will tell whether or not that’s true.

Arjav Rawal (he/him) is a reporter and Editorial & Membership Associate for The Reader. You can connect with Arjav via Twitter (@ArjavRawal) or email (

SourceLink Impact Data Report

SourceLink Nebraska is one of the five core programs of the Nebraska Business Development Center at UNO. Starting in July of 2020, their began mapping entrepreneurial and business development resources for new and existing business owners in Nebraska. SourceLink Nebraska is a statewide platform where anyone can connect with nonprofit, education, and government resources for building or growing businesses. In other words, SourceLink Nebraska is a one-stop shop for Nebraska entrepreneurs, existing businesses, and resource partners. SourceLink Nebraska is a no-cost service. They are supported by the generosity of Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), the Peter Kiewit Foundation, the University of Nebraska, the University Technology Development Corporation (UTDC), the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR), Nebraska Extension, and the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC).

SourceLink Nebraska establishes the core infrastructure for Nebraska’s economic development ecosystem, consequently elevating transparency and increasing accessibility of resources. Likewise, SourceLink Nebraska supports economic development in Nebraska by enhancing the coordination of services statewide. This infrastructure will help to reveal and correct regional deficits in resource availability while promoting collaboration between resource partners.

Click here to view their latest report.

Funnel Math

Change takes time, and many grossly under-estimate the time for change to occur.  Nebraska needs to start building overlapping ecosystem components that yield more technologists over time – not just in one big, but unsustainable burst.  Programs, such as LB 1112 and the expansion of the engineering school, align with existing data about retention as strong first steps.

A recent report from the Washington Post stated that Nebraska was in the top 20 states for college graduate retention – retaining more than 75%.  Nearby states, such as Iowa and Kansas, do not score nearly as well.  This suggests that there are already some key components in place for the state to see significant technology workforce improvements.

This data is particularly important to keep in mind when considering changes that occur during high school.  A child who benefits from LB 1112, a computer science program being introduced in high school in 2024, will not be a productive computer engineer until at least 2030 and probably 2032 and beyond.  The goal of these types of programs is to fundamentally change the structure of the underlying funnel of the state’s workforce production.  This is a numbers problem – not one where recruitment of post-graduates will be enough.

Many ecosystem level changes involve these types of structural shifts.  Thus, evolution of an ecosystem rarely can be seen in a single year or a short period of time.  This is one of the fundamental challenges to organizations – such as the Nebraska Tech Collaborative – that are attempting to make significant shifts in an ecosystem. 

Generally, what this means is that change and milestones are not linear.  For example, when we meet internally to evaluate the success of NTC, the goal is to put process in place that will lead to change that scales and is not dependent on a single person or program.  Instead, the system has been shifted upwards allowing for a complete restatement of the ecosystem.  Instead of moving from 1 to 2, you shift the whole system up so that your bottom measure is a 5 or a 6.

As an example, consider the startup ecosystem in Nebraska.  In 2005, there was little to no activity.  In fact, resources, such as Pitchbook and the NVCA, had Nebraska at 0 deals.  In 2006, BuilderTrend and Hudl were started – but it was the support system that was evolving around them, not just the creation of the companies.  Without the support of the Lincoln system of angels that helped keep Hudl alive in 2007 and 2008, the company would not have been able to be the dominant player that it is today.

Over the last fifteen years, the system has been slowly bolstered with key public policy, capital creation, and startup training tools.  For example, the Business Innovation Act has fundamentally shifted the playing field upwards because it helps ensure a regular supply of start-up capital that also helps resupply the top of the funnel of companies. 

Examples of what needs to happen in the technology talent ecosystem are frequently mentioned.  But, the NTC represents first steps to conversations and support that must happen.  In addition, key training pillars need to increase supply.  For example, last week the Dean of the Engineering School at the University of Nebraska provided me (and some other visitors) with a tour.  The Dean explained the cost to add faculty and the new Kiewit Hall (over $180m in investments) with the goal of transforming both the physical infrastructure and the internal talent.  But, he also explained that the goal was to grow from 2500 students and 400 grad students to – 6000 undergrad and 1200 grad students.  This stated goal needed the structure, but it needs complementary support structures.

For example, LB 1112 should help all Nebraska high school students become more prepared for a potential admission to the College of Engineering.  But, it also requires UNL to recruit more students from other states, cities, and countries. 

According to a recent report by the Washington Post, once here, Nebraska actually retains a high percentage of students when they graduate (more than 75%).  This is stark contrast to many other Midwestern states.  For example, Iowa and Kansas both retain significantly fewer of their college graduates.  This suggests that some of the building blocks are already in place for the state.  Now it is about lining up the funnel to ensure that many overlapping systems are aligned to produce more Nebraska technologists.