Some folks in Nebraska are getting a little nervous over the rapid rise of the ethanol industry in the state. That’s why state officials and industry experts set up shop in Norfolk, NE on Thursday (Sep. 13th) to answer some of those concerns.
Nebraska’s 17 ethanol plants (and another nine on the way) makes the state third in the nation for ethanol production. This story on the KTIV-TV (Sioux City, IA) web site says the officials wanted to focus on training and education, compliance and environmental quality issues:
Officials say with the rapid rate of ethanol production there are a number of emerging issues that will continue to be important. There’s water and air quality, OSHA regulations, spill response and more. Members of the Nebraska Ethanol board say their biggest obstacle is training and recruitment. They say since 1985, around 1-thousand people have found employment at plants in the state and within the next 18 months that number will need to be duplicated.
Todd Sneller, Adm. Nebraska Ethanol Board “So it’s a significant opportunity in terms of quality jobs spread across the State in some of our smallest communities. But, it’s a significant challenge trying to find people who want to enjoy life in a small community and bring the skills necessary to run the plants located in a small community.”
State officials also want to make sure everyone’s singing from the same sheet of music to keep the ethanol industry going for Nebraska.