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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Announces Awards for the Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative

Grant recipients include companies based in Hastings and Kearney

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced Flowserve Corporation of Hastings and Hollman Media, LLC of Kearney as the grant recipients for the Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative (NDYTI), a program that will connect young Nebraskans to careers in the manufacturing and technology sectors.  NDYTI was proposed by the Governor as a part of his budget in January and approved by the Legislature earlier this year to foster partnerships between private industry and public schools that promote engagement in hands-on career exploration and relevant workplace learning for students in 7th and 8th grade.

At a press conference earlier today, Governor 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.  Industry needs identified and addressed in their applications include among others: future job growth, mentoring, financial support, and human resources.

“Congratulations to Flowserve Corporation and Hollman Media on their successful applications,” said Governor Ricketts.  “These are the type of public-private partnerships we must encourage across Nebraska to help our communities and our schools connect young Nebraskans with the great careers they are looking for and to build the 21st-century workforce that our state’s manufacturers and technology industries need to remain competitive in a global economy.”

“Manufacturing is Nebraska’s second-largest industry, and its continued growth creates good-paying jobs sought after by Nebraskans,” said Director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development Brenda Hicks-Sorensen.  “This program is a great way for our state’s manufacturing and technology sectors to expose the next generation to the great careers and to deliver the skills needed to pursue a career in these fields.”

“We are thrilled to receive one of the first awards through the Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative,” said Robert Wilson, General Manager of Flowserve. “Thanks to this initiative, which supports our partnership with Hastings Public Schools and Central Community College, we will be able to expose students at an earlier age to great career options and provide them with skills that can serve them well for years to come.”

“Thank you to Governor Ricketts for your leadership in fostering partnerships between our education system and industry,” said Travis Hollman, President of Hollman Media. “Creating a pipeline of well-trained and qualified individuals is one of the greatest barriers to the expansion of the technology industry in Nebraska today. Our partnership with Kearney Public Schools will help provide new career paths for young Nebraskans interested in software development and IT.”

About the DYTI Grant Recipients

Flowserve Corporation is the lead business of a consortium of engaged businesses in the Hastings area that created a Manufacturers Pathways Advisory Team (MPAT) out of their Hastings Area Manufacturers Association (HAMA) in collaboration with Hastings Public Schools (HPS) and Central Community College.  The MPAT has a long-term focus on increasing the number of graduates from HPS’ Skilled and Technical Sciences programs.  Beginning such a program at the 7th grade level is crucial to the quality and quantity of graduates completing a program at the 12th grade level.  The program will focus on engaging young women, engaging parents, career mentoring, guided and intentional exploration, and providing a hands-on educational experience that increases matriculation levels.

Hollman Media, LLC in Kearney, will expose more than 1,000 students to careers in IT annually to create measurable excitement.  This will be done by immediately providing Kearney Public School instructors with experiences needed to mold curriculum to match industry needs.  Exposure to real world projects using existing software to create simple programs of action will be the first step.  Next steps include the use of CNC routers, LEGO robotics, and laser engravers to produce actual products, controlled by software with an emphasis placed on critical thinking, communication, and problem solving by the participants.  Basics of software development life cycles and identification of challenges they feel could be solved by a mobile app or website for their school will culminate in a project being developed to meet that need and add value within the school district.  One of the goals is to provide a seamless pipeline from middle school to a related Kearney High School program with positive long-term measurable gains in post-graduate IT pathways.  This program has parameters in place that will provide very noticeable and measurable short-term, mid-term, and long-term results impacting many students over the course of many years.

About the Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative

Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative (NDYTI) is a program that will connect young Nebraskans to the manufacturing and technology sectors.  NDYTI was proposed by the Governor as a part of his budget in January and approved by the Legislature earlier this year.

The Governor originally proposed this initiative in response to rapid innovations in the manufacturing and information technology sectors.  Next generation workers in these industries will require advanced skill sets and knowledge to help companies compete in the global economy.  Meeting workforce demands will require innovative approaches to develop a youth talent pipeline, and this initiative is a step toward laying the groundwork for that pipeline.

“The Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative is a great way for our state to connect young people with potential career options,” said Governor Pete 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 good-paying jobs.”

“The Nebraska Developing Youth Talent Initiative will cultivate an industry-led partnership with schools to assist in specific career learning opportunities in the manufacturing and technology sectors,” said Brenda Hicks-Sorensen, Director of the Department of Economic Development.  “It is critical that the state work collaboratively with the private sector to build a workforce with the skills our businesses need in a 21st-century economy.”

Through this initiative, DED will provide financial assistance of up to $125,000 each to two awarded businesses per year in the 2015-16 school year and the 2016-17 school year.

How Business Qualify for DYTI

Businesses that qualify for NDYTI are those in the manufacturing sector or businesses in need of high-skill information technology professionals.  At least one business selected for a grant must be in a county with a population less than 100,000.  Grants through NDYTI are provided to private sector for-profit entities.  Businesses are selected by independent scoring by a multiple agency committee with recommendations shared with the Governor for final approval.

NDYTI grant recipients partner with schools to engage students to participate in hands-on career exploration and relevant workplace learning opportunities.  The programs reach students beginning in the seventh and eighth grades and must demonstrate sustainability and measurable impact.  Interest and participation in the program by students may be initial metrics, but measures may also include tracking of course-taking patterns through high school, possible work experiences provided by businesses after initial exposure, and tracking of post-secondary plans.