Transportation & Trade Initiative

The Transportation and Trade Initiative aims to bring young people into traditional trades, including construction, automotive and diesel fields.

This initiative aims to bring young people into traditional trades, including construction, automotive and diesel fields, says Mickey Anderson, an Aksarben Governor and President of Baxter Auto Group. “We want to make sure that kids get the opportunity to be exposed to all possibilities and that they are able to choose the path that appeals to them,” Anderson says.

A resource that is already assisting this initiative is the Intern Omaha – Youth Business Community Partnerships. The program is led by Millard Superintendent Dr. Jim Sutfin and Dr. Ken Bird, former Westside Superintendent and CEO of Avenue Scholars. The new program helps employers create internships and encourages schools to offer high school credit for internship training. Millard, Ralston and Omaha public schools are taking part.

“A lot of it is career path awareness and creating opportunities for kids who have an interest in some of these careers across the state,” Anderson says. “Right now, we don’t have a good alignment between kids’ fields of study and the available jobs. Young people ought to pursue the interests they have a passion for. Through this program, we believe we can do a better job of creating earlier exposure so they can be aware of some of the various careers out there. This hasn’t been done well consistently in Nebraska.”

Nebraska has some of the country’s best schools, he says. “It’s important that we find ways to work through their curricula to help create this career path awareness as well as present some of these internship opportunities.

“Schools have the relationships with the students, so we feel our place is to follow the schools’ lead and integrate with them so we can be as helpful as possible.”

Anderson is working closely with the transportation industry, which has plentiful jobs for auto and diesel technicians.

“Collaboration is where Aksarben brings a great deal of value,” he says. “Aksarben can provide multi-industry offerings that bring the maximum number of opportunities to kids and create what we believe to be an easier interface with the school system. The schools, instead of having to coordinate with dozens of industry groups or hundreds of individual companies, can work through us. We represent all of those.

“The effort can be expanded statewide relatively easily,” Anderson says. “For schools wanting to participate, Aksarben is the perfect place to start the search.”

“The effort can be expanded statewide relatively easily. For schools wanting to participate, Aksarben is the perfect place to start the search.” Mickey Anderson, Aksarben Governor and President of Baxter Auto Group.