GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Community leaders in Grand Island addressed the public their annual State of the City address on Thursday. They talked achievements from 2019 and goals for 2020.
Mayor Roger Steele really pushed the growing concern of the younger generations not staying in or returning to Grand Island.
"We need to bring our young people back," Mayor Steele said. "We need to find a way to say if you go to Wayne and hopefully other colleges, they will have programs set up that are designed to take you back to your home, Grand Island."
The city partnered with Wayne State College to start a new internship program. That program would place students back in GI as interns when they become seniors.
"They would say look, if you want to commit as a freshman to be a part of our internship program, during your senior year we'll bring you back home to Grand Island because the people in Grand Island want you," Mayor Steele explained.
Dr. Tawana Grover from GIPS was also a speaker Thursday morning. She says her schools are doing what they can to get students prepared for college. She gave updates on how great the Academy is doing at GISH and also the new Gear Up program that gets children thinking about their future even in middle school.
"We've made it very clear from Gear Up that our kids are worth investing in," Dr. Grover said. "We've always invested in our kids, but now we have outsiders who are willing to invest in our kids."
Lyndon Vogt, the General Manager from Central Platte NRD also took the stage. He mentioned the projects that kept Grand Island from flooding last year.
"In one flood event less than a year after we finished the project, the estimation was this $14 million project saved $23 million in damages to homes in that portion of Grand Island," Vogt said.
The last speaker was Mike Olson from the Central Nebraska Regional Airport. He went over changes made and plans for the future, mentioning a meeting he has coming up with more airlines to possibly fly out of Grand Island.