The new nonprofit, Kearney Works, has just appointed a full board of directors. “We have put together a dynamic and progressive board that will further the work that began as America’s Best Communities Kearney,” said Chairman of the board, Marion McDermott.
The following have decided to serve on the board:
Marion McDermott, Bank of the West – Chairman
Jonathan Nikkila, Kearney City Council Member – Vice Chairman
Judi Sickler, Kearney Area Community Foundation – Secretary/Treasurer
Kelly Christensen, Central Community College
Meredith Collins, Community Action Partnership of Mid Nebraska
Shawna Erbson, City of Kearney
Darren Robinson, Economic Development Council
Max Kathol, Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce
Shawn Sterling, BluePrint Engines, Marshall Engines
While Kearney Works looks to be a workforce development resource for all people in the Kearney area, the primary goal of Kearney Works is to provide comprehensive services and resources to the unemployed and underemployed who need to improve labor skills in order to fill available jobs and increase their earning potential. It will provide three pillars of service. It will develop a soft skills/ pre-employment training curriculum, it will assist residents in matching them with training and continuing education opportunities, and it will provide mentoring services through volunteer coaches to ensure long term success.
Kearney Works was developed as the main priority in the community wide revitalization plan developed during the America’s Best Community competition for Kearney. Buffalo County Community Partners has facilitated the group through the planning of their goals, mission & vision, to appointing of the board of directors.
The board had its first official meeting on July 26 to discuss funding, goals and vision, as well as initial projects to get underemployed area residents matched with training to fill high-paying jobs that area manufacturers are desperate to fill.
Kearney Works is also focused on serving as a clearinghouse for residents to navigate workforce opportunities that already exist among all area organizations, agencies and businesses. This will help increase participation and prevent duplication among agencies.