NeMAC’s Best of 2015 Roundup

looking back on a bridge2015 was an important year for the manufacturing industry, particularly in Nebraska. While there were certainly disappointments, such as ConAgra’s move to Chicago after an “agonizing debate,” there were plenty of exciting moments that should not be overshadowed by the inevitabilities of any industry, such as company moves or closings.

In technology, as well, the country made great strides in the arenas of additive manufacturing, IoT, and more, while outsourced technology sometimes became suspect (see “Exploding Hoverboards”). Thus, we rounded up some of the most important news moments on the blog from 2015. Thanks for following along and for supporting our missions to raise awareness of manufacturing, support career technical education, market career opportunities in modern manufacturing, collaborate with industry partners, and more.

Here are a few of the best of the best from 2015. Stay tuned for more content, features, and exciting news throughout 2016, and as always, let us know if there’s something you’d like to see on the blog by leaving a comment in the section below!

In Fremont, Seth McGinn’s CanCooker Takes Off! In January of 2015, we reported on a Nebraska manufacturer we have a soft spot in our hearts for: Seth McGinn and his Fremont headquarters for the CanCooker. It’s a classic rags-to-riches story. McGinn began creating the cooking implements out of a storage unit, and now the product is being sold at Cabela’s and Wal-Mart, along with a pretty extensive product line. In addition, they increased their facilities to a whopping 27,000 square feet. In the article, we predicted that 2015 would be a great year for Nebraskan entrepreneurs.

Libraries Begin To Install Maker Spaces: A major trend in 2015, as we wrote about in May, was the increasing number of “maker spaces” or tech labs in libraries throughout Nebraska. Whether the space includes 3D printers, tech games for kids, or laptops that can be used by library patrons, libraries have been making a real effort to engage with twenty-first century technology in a meaningful way. In February of 2015, the Omaha Public Library even appointed their first digital librarian, whose role is devoted to advancing the library’s digital presence.

Madeleine Albright Visits UNL: America’s first female Secretary of State came to UNL in June to speak at the Food Factory of the Future Conference. The conference was hosted at the University of Nebraska Innovation Center, another 2015 highlight, and provided “food for thought” for all of the attendees: According to Albright, “food security is not just about politics or economics. For Americans, feeding the world is a moral imperative.”

Sargent Pipe Featured on the Science Channel: Not only did Broken Bow manufacturer Sargent Pipe win the Manufacturer of the Year award from the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, they were featured in documentary television series “How It’s Made” which aired on the Science Channel on September 24th! Congratulations to Sargent Pipe on their success, and we are so pleased that they were able to be recognized for their excellent work.

This is truly just a drop in the pan—we’ve had so many wonderful stories this year. Do you have a favorite post that we didn’t highlight here? Let us know!

On to 2016!

photo credit: Queensboro Bridge Bike Path via photopin (license)