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Nearly a century ago, Senator George W. Norris led Nebraska on a campaign to improve state government. Intent on addressing an outdated, costly, and ineffective system of governance, his efforts produced a solution uniquely Nebraskan – the single house, nonpartisan legislature. 

Today, Nebraska faces new questions of efficacy. Two decades into the 21st Century, and well into the Digital Age, our work – and how we work – have changed. The private sector has been remade through the availability and use of digital information. Yet, our systems of education and governance lag behind in this regard. 

Thanks to the pioneering work of Nebraska leaders, and through generous financial support from leading philanthropies, the Nebraska Statewide Workforce & Educational Reporting System (NSWERS) has arrived. A one-of-a-kind partnership between Nebraska’s education and workforce systems, NSWERS stands poised to leverage digital information as a strategic asset for the competitive advantage of Nebraska. 

To this end, I am pleased to present herein the inaugural Strategic Approach for NSWERS. With its release, we signal a close to the era of analog decision-making. Together, we will work to create a data-informed decision culture that supports pathways of learning and earning for the people of Nebraska. 

Like great Nebraskans before us, we are still called to solve problems. It is my hope that future generations will see NSWERS and our efforts to embrace the Digital Age for economic and societal prosperity as, again, a solution uniquely Nebraskan, and commensurate to the challenges of our day. 

Matthew J. Hastings, Ph.D. 

Executive Director, NSWERS