About Workforce Development
Since 2006, Platte County, where Columbus is the county seat, has grown its workforce by 7.98%, compared with the statewide growth of 5.22%. The next highest rate of 7.31% belonged to Buffalo County, with Kearney as the county seat (located on Interstate 80). From 2006 to 2020, approximately $150,000,000 in public investments has been committed. In 2014 alone, 4,994 Columbus alumni were contacted through various marketing efforts and 1,122 job seekers were reached through recruiting trips.
Credit for this growth can be attributed to the efforts of a Workforce Development program through the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce began as the “Drive for Five” or a drive for 500 new employees.
From the beginning of the Drive for Five in 2006-2007 until the start of the recession in 2008-2009, 440 new employees were added.
In the years since Drive for Five began, no first-class city in Nebraska has grown its labor force faster than Columbus. This is a testament to the power of a community working together to accomplish the critical work of building a sufficient, skilled workforce.