Nebraska Companies Chosen to Expand State Workforce

flowserve at workRemember back in July when we posted about applying for the Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative? Early this week, Governor Pete Ricketts announced two awards for Nebraska companies who will be involved in the initiative. According to the governor’s office, Ricketts congratulated Flowserve Corporation and Hollman Media, LLC, on their “successful applications which highlighted strong engagement with their local public schools in crafting sustainable, proactive plans to address needs of industry in their areas.”

If you missed our earlier post, here’s a little refresher. When Governor Pete Ricketts proposed his budget back in January of 2015, he included the NDYTI to help connect young Nebraskans to manufacturing and technology sector career sets. Instead of existing programs, most of which funnel career training into high school or post-secondary education, Ricketts’ plan proposed working with 7th and 8th graders. “The Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative is a great way for our state to connect young people with potential career options,” said Ricketts. “Expanding educational opportunities and creating more and better paying jobs are two of my administration’s top priorities. This initiative will open new horizons for young Nebraskans looking for a career track with well-paying jobs.”

The NDYTI follows in the footsteps of many similar programs around the country designed to connect youth with manufacturing jobs. KentuckianaWorks, serving Kentucky and Southern Indiana, hosts three youth career centers designed to train youth and assist them with career exploration; it includes a partnership with Code Louisville, a free operation that trains people for computer software coding jobs.

In Illinois, DuPage County recently launched a program for youths 18-21 to introduce them to manufacturing, with four weeks of paid career prep and a six-week paid internship at a local manufacturing company. SkillUp Washington hosts the Youth Industry Partnership Initiative, five weeks of instruction at South Seattle College followed by a four-week paid internship with a manufacturing employer. It makes sense for Nebraska to implement similar initiatives, not only for our young people—this will benefit our industries as well.

Through the NDYTI, the Nebraska Department of Economic development will provide financial assistance of $125,000 each year to two awarded businesses in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. The first recipient, Hollman Media, LLC, in Kearney, will expose more than 1,000 students to careers in IT annually, according to the governor. After winning the prestigious Walter Scott Entrepreneurial Business Award in 2014, Hollman plans to continue on their upward trajectory by providing teachers with experiences needed to match their curriculum with industry needs. You can read about the history of Hollman Media here.

The other winner, Flowserve Corporation, manufactures flow management products: think pumps, valves, etc. They’re part of the Hastings Area Manufacturers Association’s Manufacturers Pathways Advisory Team. The team focuses on increasing the number of graduates from HPS’ Skilled and Technical Science programs. With the grant money, Flowserve will focus on engaging parents, career mentoring, and more.
Congratulations to the two winners, and thanks to Governor Ricketts for supporting such a crucial program!

Photo credit: Flowserve