Lincoln companies prepare for South by Southwest Conference

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- Lincoln is part of the ever growing Silicon Prairie and has a really hot job market. And there's a push to keep the economy and city growing, that's why companies are looking at bringing in some new people to the state during the South by Southwest Festival.

South by Southwest is a huge conference with workshops, a job fair, and music festivals in Austin, Texas.

This year will be the first time some Nebraska corporations attend the event, in hopes of bringing new employees to Lincoln.

Nelnet is one of those companies. With their growth over the past couple years comes many spots to fill.

"The job market in Lincoln is really competitive and we have a lot of jobs that we're still hoping to fill that we haven't been able to," said Mairead Safranek a Nelnet Communications Specialist.

They currently recruit many Nebraska students and have 3,000 Lincoln based employees, but now they want to appeal to talent from across the country. That's why they're joining the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin.

"The more people that we can attract here for a job it means so much more for the economy in general," said Safranek.

Nelnet isn't the only company that's going to be there though, Assurity, Lincoln Electric, NRC Health and Hudl are all going to Austin this weekend to represent Lincoln.

"This year we're bringing companies with us so that they can do active recruiting on the job market floor and rather than us provide them with general information, a company can provide them specific information for a job that they're looking to fill," said Rachel Placzek from the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development.

Placzek said they realized having local companies was key to showing prospective employees what opportunities there are in Lincoln.

"We've never done anything like this and so I'm excited to come not just as the city but as the business community, as a team of 10 people ready to say here we are please join us," said Placzek.

The whole event starts on March 9th, but the job fair is Saturday and Sunday. Last year the conference portion brought in more than 70,000 people.