Nebraska program seeks to cultivate tech workers in rural state
By ZACH PLUHACEK / Lincoln Journal Star
A Kearney-based job-training program aimed at boosting Nebraska's information technology workforce is attracting attention from corporations across the state.
The 12-week program, called TechHire Nebraska, pays participants a full-time stipend of $15 an hour while they learn and virtually guarantees them a job in IT upon completion.
Nelnet chairman Mike Dunlap, Proxibid senior vice president Gregory Nichols, Buckle interim CIO Robert Harbols and half a dozen other executives have committed to consider adding TechHire graduates to their payrolls if the program receives a share of about $100 million in federal grants being distributed among similar TechHire programs across the U.S.
Nebraska's IT talent pool is tight, those executives say, and TechHire can help.
"The education system is not churning out enough of those workers," said Dan Hoffman, interim CEO of the nonprofit venture development organization Invest Nebraska and a member of the TechHire steering committee.
TechHire Nebraska is seeking $4 million through the U.S. Department of Labor grant program. Recipients should be announced later this spring.
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