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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new coalition of business, political and educational leaders aims to address Nebraska’s economic issues and improve the state’s competitiveness.

Blueprint Nebraska intends to work on several issues statewide, including innovation, entrepreneurship, workforce, taxes and infrastructure, the Omaha World-Herald reported . Gov. Pete Ricketts and University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds are participating in the initiative, along with banking, health care, technology and manufacturing leaders.

Attorney Mike Flood said he’s pleased to see the state’s top leaders working together.

“I would say that Gov. Ricketts and President Bounds collaborating with the business community is a bright spot” of the initiative, he said. The two leaders have often disagreed on the state’s higher education funding.

Flood said he’s interested in the group addressing problems within rural communities, including declining populations.

The group plans to unveil the initiative within a few weeks, said Bryan Slone, president of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“It’s meant to be a pretty comprehensive look at building the economic future of the state,” Slone said. “The idea is to really create a collaboration across the state.”


Information from: Omaha World-Herald,