COLUMBUS – Governor Pete Ricketts’ recent announcement of a potential new college scholarship program is aiming to solve critical workforce needs throughout Nebraska.
The scholarships would benefit students in specific majors in the UN system, the three state college, as well as the six community colleges. Central Community College – Columbus President Dr. Kathy Fuchser says that Central is very pleased that Gov. Ricketts recognizes the role that higher education plays in meeting the state’s workforce needs.
Fuchser also says that Central is looking forward to working with area employers to identify high-need areas, so that the potential scholarships can be issued accordingly. Gov. Ricketts’ plan would give community colleges 65 scholarships at a cost of $260,000 in the first year, with both numbers doubling in the second year.
The scholarships would be aimed at students in the skilled trades, or in target areas of study as determined by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. In 2017-18 alone, Central Community College awarded over $489,000 in scholarships, and the average award at Central, including loans, is just over $4,000.
Fuchser says that students at Central are in a variety of different situations, whether it be balancing a part-time job, full-time job, or a family with their schooling. The scholarships would help ease the financial burden of those looking for a degree or certificate, so that they can go straight into the workforce to fulfill high-need jobs.