Scholarship Recipients Return Home to Jobs

16 May 2017

Several area college graduates have returned to Phelps County this spring to start full-time jobs with assistance from the Phelps County High-Demand Jobs Scholarships.

The scholarships are intended to help fill jobs in the area and encourage students to return to their hometowns to start their careers. The scholarships are funded by the Phelps County Development Corporation and the Phelps County Community Foundation.

Alex Hamling, a 2013 graduate of Holdrege High School, will graduate in August from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy with a business option.  He has already started his full-time position with CHS Agri Service Center in Holdrege in agronomy sales. Hamling interned at CHS during the summer of 2016 and will help mentor another intern this summer in addition to his agronomy duties.

Hamling said the high-demand scholarship was a “huge” benefit.

“It helped me get on my feet faster right out of school,” he said.

He’s glad to be back in Phelps County among family and friends.

“I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else,” he said. “I love the fact that it’s an agriculture-based community.”

Colter Edgren, a 2015 Holdrege High School graduate, studied general automotive at the Milford campus of Southeast Community College and graduated with an associate’s degree on March 17. He started his new full-time job at Dannull Engine Service & Auto Sales on March 20.

Colter is a fifth generation Edgren to live in Phelps County and said that family played a big part in his desire to return.

“I wanted to come back to Holdrege,” Colter said. “It’s a good place. I have all my family here.”

Colter said the scholarship allowed him to obtain an education without amassing a huge debt, making it possible for him to make another big purchase – a new home. Colter, age 20, invested in a “fixer upper” in Holdrege this spring, and he’s excited to finish renovations and move in soon.

Boe Barnett, a 2015 Holdrege High School graduate, studied carpentry and architect design at Central Community College in Hastings. He graduated with an associate’s degree in early May.

Boe will start a full-time job with Skiles Construction of Holdrege on June 1 and is also enjoying being back home close to family.

“I always thought I was going to come back,” Boe said. “I just kind of like the smaller town. And, my family lives here.”