Saving Lives and Workforce Development: a Winning Formula in Nebraska

Saving Lives and Workforce Development: a Winning Formula in Nebraska Main Photo

27 Oct 2023


Local medical training program helps fill healthcare gap in Phelps County

Medical professionals save lives and are a vital part of a healthy community. A new training program at Holdrege High School in Phelps County, Nebraska for future certified nursing assistants prepares participants for a career helping others upon completion of the certification testing.

“Part of our role in the community is to ensure that our students are prepared for the next phase of their lives, both personally and professionally,” says Jeremy Ham, Holdrege High School Principal. “Many students reach the end of high school and are still not sure what they want to do next. This provides them with another opportunity to learn about a field that not only helps the people in their community, but also fills a gap in workforce development.”

The program began in August and developed through a partnership with Central Community College, Phelps County Development Corporation, Phelps Memorial Health Center and Holdrege High School. Eight students are currently enrolled, and organizers anticipate the number of participants will continue to grow as word spreads about its impact and success. Students earn a dual credit and certified nursing assistant certification upon completion.

“The program was created to help students progress to the next step in healthcare education,” says Ham. “It also supports local healthcare centers with a qualified pool of prospective employees. This is a true game changer for our community and students.”

Partnerships matter

Collaboration was key to making the program a reality. Ham adds that the school allows students to attend the course during standard school hours and pays for books. Meanwhile, Phelps County Development Corporation and Phelps Memorial Health Center share the overall cost of the program, allowing students to attend at a very minimal cost. Central Community College provides qualified instructors and certified facilities.

The partner organizations are ideal for ensuring the success of this program. Opened in 1968, Phelps Memorial Health Center is a 25-bed, non-profit, critical access hospital and one of the largest employers in Phelps County, with over 328 healthcare professionals. Central Community College is a multi-campus community college serving a 25-county area in central Nebraska and offers 37 career and technical education programs focusing on degree, diploma and certificate programs requiring two years or less to complete.

“This program will help fill critical shortages of qualified, certified nursing assistants in our local medical community,” adds Ham. “We’re preparing these students for an extremely worthwhile career while contributing to the greater good of the community. It’s a win-win.”  

Phelps County Development Corporation

Phelps County Development Corporation has the tools, information, and skills to assist you with relocation for your business or family. PCDC is ready to help with housing and project advocacy, including permitting, timely utilities, and financial assistance. Contact PCDC today at (308) 995-4148 or To further explore “Why Phelps,” download the community guide.

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