Building Connections: Fremont's Collaborative Approach to Workforce Development
7 Jul 2023
Workforce development plays a crucial role in the growth and success of any community. The Greater Fremont Development Council (GFDC) has implemented several initiatives to enhance workforce attraction and development to bridge the gap between educational institutions, businesses, and the community. The initiatives below illustrate the efforts of GFDC and its partners toward creating a symbiotic relationship benefiting employers and the workforce alike.
Midland University Mentorship Program
A notable example is the Midland University Mentorship Program. In collaboration with the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce and Midland University, GFDC created a platform for junior and senior students to connect with experienced business leaders in their respective fields. This past year, six students and six business leaders met for discussions, where students gained valuable insights into their chosen career paths in various aspects, including salary expectations, growth and development opportunities, industry trends, and alternative career options. The program's success has prompted plans to expand its reach to include Metro Community College students in the fall, providing even more students with access to industry professionals and valuable guidance. Interested business professionals who would like to mentor during the upcoming school term can contact GFDC here for more information on the Program.
Externship program for teachers and educators
Teacher externships offer a unique professional development opportunity connecting the classroom to the workplace. They provide an experience in which teachers spend time in a workplace to learn through direct experience about trends, skill requirements, and opportunities in industries related to their subject to enrich and strengthen their teaching and bring relevance to student learning.
The Teacher Externship Program began in May 2023 as a collaborative effort between the GFDC, Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce, and Fremont Senior High School. Five Fremont Senior High School faculty members were selected to participate in the program's inaugural run. Over the summer, these teachers will spend 20 hours shadowing professionals in their respective industries. They will document their experiences and incorporate their findings into their curriculum, bringing real-world relevance to their classrooms. This program benefits teachers by enriching their teaching methods and strengthens the bond between local businesses and schools. Reputed businesses like Christensen Lumber, Methodist Fremont Health, DPA Auctions and RTG Medical are participating in the program.
Kelsey Martinez, Director of Business Services, GFDC, says, “With the new CTE center currently being constructed and all of the growth happening in the area, it is awesome to see collaboration between all facets of our community through the Externship Program.”
Job Relations Workshop
In addition to these programs, GFDC partnered with the Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership to provide supervisor development through a Job Relations Workshop. The June 15 workshop at the NVR Bank Education Center focused on enhancing essential skills for supervisors, team leaders, and anyone directing others' work. By utilizing hands-on learning and practice, this program equipped participants with the necessary tools to excel in their roles, ensuring efficient and effective organizational management. Ideally, active program participation will significantly impact the workforce development of Fremont, Nebraska, and contribute to the community's continued success.
Digital campaign targeted at workforce attraction
A recent GFDC digital campaign to promote workforce attraction across Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn successfully attracted attention to the Greater Fremont area, substantially boosting employment opportunities.
For five months in the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023, three sets of ads highlighting the advantages of working in the Fremont area targeted employment seekers in the Retail, Manufacturing, and Health & Medical sectors. The ads received excellent visibility and generated significantly impressive interest in the area. With responsive headlines like "Jobs in Fremont, NE" and “Grow Your Career in Greater Fremont,” Google ads resulted in nearly 25,000 impressions, while LinkedIn and Facebook totaled nearly 100,000 and 200,000, respectively.
Creating opportunities in workforce development: Greater Fremont Development Council
The Greater Fremont Development Council recognizes the significance of a skilled workforce in driving economic growth and attracting new businesses to the area. By actively engaging with educational institutions, companies, and the community, GFDC's initiatives create a supportive ecosystem that fosters professional development, knowledge sharing, and collaboration. These efforts benefit individuals by providing valuable resources and guidance and contributing to Fremont, Nebraska's overall growth and prosperity.