Dexter Successful In Establishing New Internships in Phelps County

26 Aug 2016

In her short time here, PCDC intern Paige Dexter interviewed 58 business owners, organized two young professional gatherings, mapped the downtown for future opportunities and accomplished her goal of encouraging five local businesses to start internship programs.

“I have had a lot of really positive feedback as far as the project and business owners seeing the benefits of a young professional coming to the area and then possibly returning to live and work in the future,” Dexter said.

Dexter, who is majoring in agricultural education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said her experience in Phelps County was educational and valuable.

“I met numerous, talented people in the Phelps County area,” she said. “I gained a better understanding of the benefits and challenges small businesses in rural communities face.”

One goal of her work in Phelps County was to encourage at least five business owners to hire interns for the summer of 2017. She started by interviewing 58 business owners (41 small, 13 large) in Holdrege, Bertrand and Loomis about internship programs and business needs.

Of those interviewed, seven business owners are interested in starting an internship program. Dexter followed up with those business owners to provide detailed information about how to fund an intern and even assist them in creating job descriptions and hiring timelines.

During her interviews, Dexter also identified 11 business owners who are currently or will be looking to transition their businesses to new owners in the next 5-10 years. PCDC staff will now work with these owners to encourage a succession plan and help identify potential new owners in an effort to retain local businesses and services.

Dexter also helped PCDC with a downtown Holdrege mapping project in which she identified 22 buildings that could become potential new business locations.

She also organized two gatherings of local young professionals to gain feedback on how to make the community more inviting to young career seekers. The positive feedback gained from those gatherings will help in future recruiting efforts and PCDC projects.

If you are a business owner and would like more information about starting an internship program or want help in creating a business succession plan, please contact PCDC Project Coordinator Alli Donohue at PCDC at (308) 995-4148.