Eight Students Awarded 2022 High-Demand Jobs Scholarships
27 Jul 2022
Eight students studying for future careers in agriculture, nursing, diesel technology and other high-demand careers received generous scholarships because they plan to return to Phelps County to work after graduation.
The high-demand jobs scholarships are part of the Phelps County Development Corporation’s efforts to create a quality local workforce. This year, $37,000 in scholarships were awarded ranging from $3,000-$6,000 each. This is the most money ever awarded for the scholarships in a single year.
PCDC Board Member Tim Rehm said the money in the “scholarship pool” has grown to allow them to award more scholarship dollars.
“I think it has been a great program for Phelps County as I see many who received scholarships in past years now in Phelps County’s workforce,” Rehm said.
Four of the 2022 recipients are 2022 high school graduates and four are already in college.
Jenessa Landin is a 2021 Holdrege High School graduate who is attending Central Community College to become a registered nurse and eventually earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
This is the second year she has received the high-demand jobs scholarship.
“I’ve just always really liked helping people,” Landin said about her career choice. “As a nurse, you are never going to be short of a job. There are so many opportunities. You could work in management, rehab, on the floor of a hospital or as a clinic nurse.”
Landin said she hopes to start her career back in Phelps County because she has two younger siblings that she wants to continue to support.
“I want to be around to watch them grow up and go to all of their activities,” she said.
Scholarship winners must sign a contract stating their intention to return to Phelps County and work after their education. The scholarships are funded through LB840 sales tax funds, private donors and matching funds from the Phelps County Community Foundation.
The scholarships are intended to encourage graduating seniors and non-traditional students to pursue work in local high-demand jobs: nursing, agri-business and technology positions, diesel mechanics, engineer technologists, mechatronics engineers, injection mold technicians, electro-mechanical technologists, machinists, tool and die makers, construction trades, welders and commercial truck drivers.
Rehm said PCDC’s scholarship committee is recommending adding teaching to the high-demand jobs scholarship list for coming years.
“There seems to be a shortage of teachers combined with a higher than normal retirement rate that could make it more difficult for rural schools to draw candidates,” Rehm said.
The 2022 scholarship winners are Alexa Berry, 2016 Bertand graduate, studying speech therapy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln ($5,00); Dalton Breinig, 20220Loomis High School graduate, studying diesel technology at Central Community College in Hastings, ($6,000); Anna Pelton, 2021 Bertrand High School graduate, studying occupational therapy at Oral Roberts University ($6,000); Jeremiah Johnson, 2022 Holdrege High School graduate studying aviation at the University of Nebraska at Kearney ($4,000); Bryce Philips, 2022 Bertrand High School graduate, studying agriculture at Northeast Community College in Norfolk ($3,000); Joshua Reed, 2021 Holdrege High School graduate, studying agriculture at Southeast Community College in Beatrice ($3,000); Jenessa Landin, 2021 Holdrege High School graduate studying nursing at Central Community College in Hastings ($4,000); McCartney Elliott, 2022 Holdrege High School graduate, studying pre-pharmacy at the University of Nebraska at Kearney ($5,000).
In the nine years that the scholarships have been offered, $237,000 and 85 scholarships have been awarded. Of those scholarships, 28 were awarded in ag-related fields, 25 in nursing/medical fields, 10 in diesel technology, and 8 in construction trades and 14 in other fields of study.