A new ‘grow your own’ workforce project has been rolled out by Twin Cities Development to create parent-education-employer partnerships in an effort to train area youth and improve the chances they will either stay here or come back after getting a college degree.
The PEER-7 program was unveiled Thursday at TCD’s annual meeting, with the initial effort involving Gering and Bayard High Schools, ESU 13 and Western Nebraska Community College.
Keith Ellis with TCD says the initiative will include programs such as employment forums and townhalls for parents “to bring in employers and employees who talk about skills, they’re making a good living at those jobs, making our parents and students more aware of those opportunities.” Ellis said when you look at some of the baby-boomers in some of these skilled professions, “we’re going to be hurting in a few years if we don’t find good people to take these over.”
Gering Public Schools Community Outreach Coordinator Jennifer Sibal says the program will be a good fit for their schools. “As a part of our growing our career pathways in Gering High School, having those business connections that works in partnership with our students is essential,” says Sibal. “So we’re really excited to grow that network, and also be looking at new opportunities like our alumni outreach, and bringing those individuals potentially back home or having opportunities created for them as well.”
Among other things, the program will include internships in professional and technical trades that would last two summers
The effort was the result of CEO Summits held earlier this year by TCD, and is intended to expand the available workforce in the area to help entice businesses to expand or locate here.