About Grand Island

Future Builders Challenge

The Grand Island Area Future Builders Challenge is a community partnership that encourages growth in entrepreneurial and business-minded high school students. This is an opportunity for students to tap into their full potential and become tomorrow's builders.

This program allows high school students in Grand Island and the surrounding communities of Wood River, St. Paul, Aurora, and Centura High Schools to identify their aptitudes to become entrepreneurs, innovators, and builders.  Grounded in global Gallup research, the Builder Profile 10 (BP 10) assessment will be administered to high school freshmen or sophomores in local schools both public and private to identify those students with extreme builder talents.  Those students are then invited to participate in the Future Builders Challenge. 

The goal of the program is to provide a strengths-based program to ignite and cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset amongst local high school students, with the ultimate goal of building and growing new ventures in each local community.

Overall Strategic Considerations Relating to Future Builder Initiatives:

  • Promote local partnerships and business models that empower communities to conduct builder initiatives that are tailored to their unique needs and ecosystems.
  • Community leadership should be as intentional at finding and engaging highly talented builders as they are at finding and engaging blue-chip athletes and extreme intellects.
  • Future builder initiatives are focused on core tenets from Jim Clifton's first book, The Coming Jobs War and his more recent publication, Born to Build - namely, early identification of builder (aka entrepreneurial) talent and then systematic, and recurring, coaching and development.
  • Builders are entrepreneurs, but they are much more than just start-up engines in a community.  Consider that most existing small, medium, and large companies across a given geography also need to find, hire, and otherwise develop builder talents.  It is those talents that will create customer and economic energy where none previously existed.
  • The key to success for every future builder initiative is collaboration among education, economic development, and business leadership within the local community.  And while collaboration amongst many groups is important, there does need to be one, single strong leader to organize the process.


In the news!
Future Builders Challenge Aimed at High School Students (11/17/2019)
Grand Island Area EDC Hosts First Future Builders Challenge (2/21/2020)

“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
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