Grace Johnson: Nebraska Department of Labor

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River City Six: Grace Johnson

The Nebraska Department of Labor (NEworks.nebraska.gov) strives to grow Nebraska by supporting the stability of its employers and the quality of its workforce. Grace Johnson is a Public Information Officer for the Nebraska Department of Labor.

Tell us a little about your business.

We prepare Nebraskans to prosper through responsive workforce services that connect high-growth, high-demand industries to educated and skilled workers through a service delivery network of public and private partners. The Department administers unemployment insurance benefits, collects labor market information and administers safety and labor standards programs. American Job Centers and career centers across the state deliver services to workers and employers in person and online through NEworks.nebraska.gov.

How did you get started in the business?

I was previously a reporter for the Nebraska City News-Press, but have always been interested in government, so I was excited to find an opportunity where I could use my communication background in the public sector. No two days are the same and I enjoy being part of an organization that helps people improve their quality of life through the services that we provide.

Tell us a little about your family.

My husband Nic and I are expecting our first child, a daughter, yet this summer. I’m the youngest of six children and have 13 nieces and nephews, and 1 great-nephew.

What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?

I have dual citizenship in Canada and the United States. Most of my siblings spent part of their childhood in Canada before my family moved to the U.S. after I was born.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The best way to get where you want to go in your career is to do the best you can where you are now. I believe that opportunities present themselves when you are busy putting in the work and not focusing solely on moving up.

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Adding more time to a day or the ability to transport myself instantly anywhere in the world.

If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?

Something in the travel industry. My husband and I have traveled to Ireland, Scotland, England, France and Spain and have many more countries on our bucket lists! I would especially like to visit more of the areas my ancestors came from.

What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?

I am currently reading Leah Remini’s book Troublemaker. It is a really interesting read on a serious subject, but she injects a lot of her humor in it too.

What is your favorite movie?

Twister. I have been fascinated by tornadoes since I was little. I watched one from my front yard where I grew up.

What is your favorite TV show?

Master Chef. I recently ate one of the best meals of my life at one of Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants in Las Vegas and I love to watch him demonstrate how to prepare the most basic foods in new ways.

If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?

Abraham Lincoln. To me, he is the most fascinating of the presidents.

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?

Email: grace.johnson@nebraska.gov; Phone: (402) 471-4189; Online: facebook.com/Nebraska.DOL.