Dream It! Do It! Fremont ...Getting Teachers Involved.
21 Jan 2014
Greater Fremont Development supports the Fremont Dream It! Do It! program that links local high school students with college credits, local employers, paid internships, invaluable experience, and even additional training and employment opportunities.
80+ FPS Teachers Tour Christensen Lumber, Inc., and Overland Products on Monday Afternoon.
While students had a day off for Martin Luther King Day, their teachers were learning more about opportunities for manufacturing careers in Fremont. As a committee member of the Fremont Dream It! Do It! committee since its beginning in 2011, Barb Pierce, Business Development Coordinator with Greater Fremont Development Council was asked to approach the high school about providing tours for FHS teachers during one of their in-service teacher days.
One of the Dream It! Do It! Committee goals is finding ways to introduce our local students to the many career opportunities right within the community of Fremont. “Since our high school teachers interact with students on a regular basis and often know whether a student ‘has a plan’ for after graduation or could use some guidance in that area, we began looking for ways to equip the teachers with more information about careers in Fremont,” Pierce said. The committee developed the idea of incorporating business tours into a teacher in-service day. “We were very pleased with the enthusiasm of Principal Story when approached,” said Pierce. Both Principal Story and school counselor, Mark Williams, were deeply involved in bringing the opportunity to FHS educators.
Dan Demuth, Vice President of Christensen Lumber, whose truss manufacturing plant was one of the facilities toured on Monday afternoon was incredibly pleased with the enthusiasm displayed by FHS teachers. “These teachers have the ability to tell students about the great opportunities available at Fremont manufacturers, and hopefully today will help them encourage students to explore what is available locally,” said Demuth.
A family-owned Fremont business since 1923, Christensen Lumber’s 40,500sf manufacturing plant produces high quality floor and roof trusses and wall panels for residential, multi-family, commercial and agricultural buildings. CEO, Tom Christensen was very appreciative of GFDC’s efforts to put this event together. “We’re genuinely committed for the long run,” said Christensen, indicating his company’s commitment to ongoing workforce initiatives in Fremont, like Dream It! Do It!
Overland Products, owned by The Amesbury Group, was another facility toured by the high school teachers. The Amesbury Group operates 13 facilities across North America and is the leading provider of components to window and door manufacturers. Presently, Amesbury-Overland makes 2500 different parts for close to 250 companies, such as Pella Corporation, Valmont, Lozier, and Vermeer. Brad Sheets, Manufacturing Manager and a Dream It! Do It! committee member, served as tour guide. “Connecting the high schools with local businesses is a key component to growing our future workforce,” Sheets explained. “The opportunity to show teachers and administrators what is available for young people in Fremont is essential, and I hope the teachers will get an opportunity to tour even more companies in Fremont.”
Teachers were introduced to a variety of careers found in the two facilities. A number of these careers required only an 18-24 month technical education and oftentimes that education is financed by the company. Along the tour, the teachers were introduced to some employees, many of them FHS alumni, who had begun their careers as laborers in these two facilities, and were eventually promoted to their current office positions of drafting, design, engineering and various management positions.
A theme throughout the afternoon was that good paying careers can be found in Fremont, Nebraska for those high school students not interested in four year colleges. Such opportunities often provide on-the-job training and tuition grants for education at a technical college. Local manufacturers want students to know that they still have options other than the fast food or retail sectors when looking beyond high school – options with good pay and the opportunity to grow with the company.
“Fremont proudly boasts a large industry base that provides primary jobs which are the main driver of our economy,” Pierce explained. “It is imperative that these industries have a future workforce available. GFDC is committed to partnering with local companies and education institutions to help build a skilled workforce. We look forward to partnering on future opportunities like this one.”
Christensen Lumber's Manufacturing Plant
Overland Products Job Shop