Students learn about opportunities in skilled and technical careers

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - In Nebraska, there is a growing trend to help steer students towards a two year technical degree to help them become part of the technical skills workforce. On Thursday, manufacturing and construction companies came out to Kearney High School to show students what they are all about.

Students at Kearney High met with companies to talk about possible career paths in construction and manufacturing. (KSNB)

Nebraska is faced with thousands of jobs that are going unfilled, especially in the manufacturing field.

“I think that's why we have events like this to introduce students to how much they can make, what that looks like,” Kearney Works Executive Director Elizabeth Roetman said. “These mobile labs are a perfect way to experience those tasks that they would be introduced to on the job site.”

Groups in specializing in welding, robotics, construction and more came to show students careers they may not have considered before. A welding instructor at Central Community College said companies are asking him if he has any skilled and technical workers that can come work for them.

“A lot of people have robotics anymore, they have motorized numerical controller machines but they still don't know the functions on how to make a good weld,” Welding Instructor John Willmes said. “When a student graduates from our college, hopefully they are able to have all those things that they put out a good weld so they can walk in and run a robot.”

CCC uses high tech programs and machines to help kids be fully prepared for the labor workforce to help with retention.

These groups also wanted to show students they can have high paying jobs right out of high school or getting a degree and that there are plenty of jobs available to them right in central Nebraska.

“That's what we really want people to understand is that you can work in construction and make an amazing career out of it and there is always going to be something that you can learn and that you can grow with,” Midlands Constructions Human Resources Manager Megan Goeke said.

Many of the groups emphasized there are a number of jobs for people with different education levels. So people fresh out of high school can go to work or if people want to pursue two or four year degrees there are other skilled and technical jobs out there for them, too.