About Grand Island
Talent Pipeline

Talent Pipeline

Communities face numerous challenges to remain competitive in today's global economy. For years, businesses selected their company homes based on location, location, location. Today, the mantra heard more often than not is workforce, workforce, workforce. Communities with a skilled and trained workforce have a competitive advantage over those that do not. This was the driving force in 2009 when Grand Island community, business, and educational leaders began researching and ultimately planning for a high school educational and training program. This initiative allows for an increase in the number of potential employees, hands-on training, and the opportunity to gain college credits while in high school.

Career Pathways Institute

In 2013, Grand Island Public Schools opened Career Pathways Institute (CPI). CPI is known throughout the country as a cutting-edge, 21st Century learning campus for area high school students. Academic and career vocational courses and programs are provided to students on campus. These opportunities can lead to associate degrees, diplomas, and four-year bachelor degrees. Academic courses from Grand Island high schools and the Career Pathways Institute can transfer to all 31 colleges in Nebraska.

Business and industry leaders serve a critical role in the development and daily operations of CPI, providing input on curriculum, giving presentations in the classroom, and offering internship opportunities. By doing so, business leaders connect with the students who may be their future workforce.

Dream it! Do it!

The Grand Island Chamber's Dream It! Do It! program is designed to give high school students a firsthand look at the career opportunities are available in Grand Island. Exposing students to available careers and educational pathways allows students to strategically plan their future and eliminate the 'blur' between high school graduation and the real work world. Students tour business facilities and discuss hiring procedures and protocol with Human Resource professionals.

Youth Leadership Tomorrow

Youth Leadership Tomorrow provides leadership development training to high school students through a variety of learning activities that connect them to the community and provide the tools they need to become problem solvers, decision makers, and future leaders. Approximately 38 high school juniors are selected each year.

These high school students are given the opportunity to learn about the history of their community and are more like to be involved community members. The sense of pride that a community's youth feels for it contribute greatly to the businesses it is able to attract and the skill of the workforce. "The success of our youth is not only an indicator of the quality of life of kids and families, but also in the quality of life in our community."

Grand Island is fortunate to have four post-secondary institutions within a 50-mile radius.


Central Community College

Located in Grand Island, Hastings, and Kearney

Central Community College is a two-year college, serving 25 counties in Central Nebraska. The Grand Island campus offers more than 30 career and technical programs leading to careers in business, health care, information technology, communications, and skilled and technical sciences.

Central Community College received a $5,629,194 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor for Innovations Moving People to Achieved Certified Training (IMPACT), a consortium of community colleges in the state to design and deliver blended manufacturing generalist degrees, diplomas, and certificates to integrate with skill certifications used in industry.


Bellevue University

Located in Grand Island

Bellevue University meets the needs of central Nebraska adult students with flexible class schedules and innovative career-relevant degree programs. Courses are offered in a traditional classroom setting, as well as online. Bellevue University is an award winning distance learning center and respected by employers across the state.

University of Nebraska-Kearney

Located in Kearney, 42 miles west of Grand Island

University of Nebraska-Kearney (UNK) is a public, student-centered regional hub of intellectual excellence, offering students a four-year college opportunity. The University of Nebraska-Kearney is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). UNK offers students a wide range of academic programs, nationally renowned faculty, and a diverse campus life for traditional and non-traditional students.

Hastings College

Located in Hastings, 24 miles south of Grand Island

Hastings College is a private liberal arts college offering more than 60 degree majors. With a small student faculty ratio of 12:1, Hastings College offers individualized academic learning for students. 100% of the student population at Hastings College is offered some form of financial aid. This helps off-set increasing educational costs.

“Grand Island provided us the ability to build and maintain professional careers, while still being present in our children's lives. That's the 'better opportunity' we found here.”
Lynda ConnerGrand Island Business Owner
Read More Stories