Sidney one of five schools statewide entered in High School Tech Ambassador Kick Off

SIDNEY -- Nelnet announced a partnership with Nebraska Tech Collaborative February 12.

The announcement was made at the Sidney School District Board of Education meeting February 12. The announcement was made by Cory Keen, Software Development Manager overseeing the Nelnet office in Sidney.

"Nelnet, and Sidney Public Schools, Sidney High School specifically, partnered together. We're one of only five schools in the state that's getting to pilot this program," Keen said.

He said the program is designed to build on a partnership between business and education.

"There's a company that sponsors it, and a company lead and a school lead. Nelnet is sponsoring it. Tess Plummer is the school lead, and I am the company lead. Essentially, what it is is the Nebraska Tech Colab(orative) and they have several goals. One of them is to increase talent by 2025. They aim to increase the number of technology workers in the state of Nebraska by 10,000. They aim to increase the number of new technology companies in the state of Nebraska by 300 by 2025," Keen said.

Sidney Public Schools Superintendent Andrew Farber said this morning the District is excited to work with Nelnet.

"Sidney Public Schools is extremely excited about the opportunity to engage in this process, and we are truly grateful to Nelnet and Mr. Keen for providing this opportunity to our school," Farber said.

Keen said the goals include getting students involved in technology. He said tech jobs are found in every industry and sector, including agriculture.

"Part of that is getting our kids involved. I mean tech jobs are found in every company and industry sector. Agriculture, Nebraska's biggest industry, has a significant component and is a huge growth sector for careers in tech," he said.

Curriculum & Assessment Director Tess Plummer said Sidney schools and Nelnet have a strong history.

"Nelnet has been always very supportive of our students and our Career Pathways programming, and we're looking forward to  continuing to grow that relationship, to benefit our students," Plummer said.

Keen said he and Plummer will work to inspire students to choose technology as a profession.

The Nebraska Tech Collaborative is an Aksarben workforce initiative convening leaders across the state to attract, develop, and retain tech talent and entrepreneurs to enable greater economic prosperity for Nebraska, according to the Nebraska Tech Colab website.