Recently, the state chamber of commerce has been sharing the results of Blueprint Nebraska, a compilation of citizens’ ideas, priorities and progressive initiatives to move Nebraska forward through 2030. I was pleased to read many of the priorities align with priorities Central Community College maintains as we work to fulfill our mission of maximizing student and community success.
Specifically, Blueprint Nebraska initiatives include:
1. Retaining our workforce talent and preparing workers for today’s and tomorrow’s jobs by leading peer states in job growth.
In support of preparation and retention of workers, CCC offers more than 37 academic and career programs with active industry advisory boards and unique curriculum.
2. Attracting new residents to the state by leading peer states in building the population of 18- to 34-year-olds.
CCC regularly supports the retention of talent, as 93 percent of our graduates stay within our rural 25-county service area to work or continue their education with the remainder staying in other counties in Nebraska. We annually report on percentages of our target market population (ages 18-64) in each of our 25 counties who are taking classes or workshops from CCC. In 2018-19, CCC served more than 10 percent of the service area target population.
3. Scaling public-private partnerships that deliver internships, apprenticeships and customized workforce solutions.
One example of how CCC is supporting partnerships is the expansion of advanced manufacturing programing between BD and multiple public entities such as CCC and the state of Nebraska. BD has plants in Columbus, Holdrege and Broken Bow.
4. Revolutionizing all educational segments from early childhood to career.
Last year, our youngest youth camp attendee was 8 years old, while the oldest community education student was 92. CCC welcomes the opportunity to work with rural Nebraskans in a variety of programming for lifelong learning.
5. Building an additional 30,000-50,000 affordable, livable housing units.
CCC’s construction technology and heavy equipment operator technician programs prepare its graduates to directly aid in building the proposed housing units. CCC’s Graduate Outcome report indicates our construction technology and heavy equipment operator technician graduates are working in the service area and Nebraska.
6. Realigning Nebraska’s tax strategy to promote statewide economic growth and prosperity.
Recent economic research reports indicate that for every dollar invested in CCC, taxpayers see a $2.40 return on investment. CCC’s elected Board of Governors have kept tax rates below the amount they could levy, and we seek ways to invest those dollars wisely for the benefit of our students and communities we serve.
CCC’s board, administration, faculty and staff are ready and eager to take an active role in improving Nebraska and are looking forward to how we can expand our benefits to the state.