District 17 Update (October 8, 2019)

This past week was a busy one in and for District 17.  Meetings with Department directors, senators, and staff to prepare for the upcoming session, watching committee hearings on Interim studies, preparing for harvest at home, and opportunities to visit with folks in the district for special celebrations and ceremonies filled my office and personal calendars pretty quickly.  Monday in Lincoln, Thursday in Thurston, Sunday from one end of the district to the other.  For me, it’s all about keeping in touch with what’s happening in our part of the state.  I so enjoy welcoming new business and manufacturing investors and encouraging the programs and educational institutions in their quest to keep and attract young talent.  Most of all, I love to meet and honor the people who make District 17 such a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family. From the occasional 80th plus birthday celebration or 60th anniversary, to business openings and events honoring our veterans and first responders, I am so honored to represent the outstanding residents of District 17.  Following are only a fraction of the happenings that make me so proud to serve as state senator for District 17.


Flags flew at half-staff.  Somber smiles.  All seats taken.  This past Sunday, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Bells Across America held memorial services throughout the country to honor firefighters who have died in the line of duty.  After eating a wonderful Sunday breakfast with the Wayne firefighters at their Annual event, I drove to Dakota City, where I was honored to be part of the amazing Bells Across America tribute right here in Northeast Nebraska.

The Bells Across America service honored three fallen heroes from Dakota City, with testimonies of their courage and with ringing of a firehouse bell.  Community members in attendance and I were touched by the service and visibly moved when the bell was rung.  The three fine men who were honored made the ultimate sacrifice while on duty. Captain Andy Zalme, Captain Eric Speck, and Firefighter Lowell Satterwhite Sr. exemplify bravery and the greatest courage of man—putting aside one’s own safety in unimaginable situations to provide safety for others.

In Nebraska, we help our friends and neighbors on many fronts and through many tragedies.  And, no one serves more capably and honorably than our Firefighters, who literally walk through fire to serve and save.  Nebraska is fortunate to have such brave and caring men and women serving as First Responders.  We should all be grateful. 


As I continue to focus on Workforce Development, including keeping bright young minds in Nebraska, I am so proud of the way District 17 keeps stepping up to provide a path for Nebraska’s youth.  We are stronger when our young people have opportunities to live, work, and thrive right here in Nebraska.  On September 23, 2019, Wayne State College helped students and their advisors explore potential career fields with leading business and industry experts in the College’s new technology center.  The Skills USA Nebraska Fall Leadership Conference hosted by Wayne State involved over 150 students and their advisors from eleven Eastern Nebraska high schools.  The event provided participants with instruction and hands-on learning sessions featuring career opportunities in transportation, manufacturing, construction, healthcare, and the energy industry.  High schools participating included Bennington, Benson, Clearwater, Columbus, Gretna, Homer, Norris, Papillion La Vista, Papillion La Vista South, Raymond Central, Wahoo and Waverly.  A big thank you to Wayne State College and others around our state who are keeping Nebraska attractive to young people here at home.


Speaking of opportunities to keep bright minds in Nebraska, the Nebraska Corn Growers and Soybean Associations provide a year-long Ambassador Program for college students who are interested in learning more about the Ag industry and/or in becoming better advocates for agriculture.   According to the Associations, each year up to ten college students are selected to participate as an Ambassador.  The chosen Ambassadors will take part in a trio of seminars spread throughout the year and a summer agribusiness tour.  Participants get a glimpse of state and federal policies affecting the industries, advocacy and leadership opportunities after graduation and areas of manufacturing, production and processing, and insight into potential industry related jobs and internships.  Students are recognized at the Associations’ Annual Meeting and presented with a $500 scholarship to help with school expenses.  Applicants for the program are able to access applications to be selected as an Ambassador on the website necga.org.  Deadline for applications to be a 2020 Ambassador is November 20, 2019.

As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you.  You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

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