How the dream for a Career Pathways Institute became a reality
The need for technically trained employees is growing across the nation. Realizing the opportunities this presents to many of its students, Grand Island Public Schools (GIPS) became the first school district in Nebraska to create a dedicated career and technical training center. The following brief history shows how GIPS and the Grand Island community worked together to put the creation of Career Pathways Institute on the fast track to completion.
Plans for the Career Pathway Institute took root when business leaders and education officials began to discuss ways to create a stronger available workforce for the Grand Island area. In the spring of 2009, a 19-member task force traveled to Mesa Arizona to tour the Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma, one of the most recognized career education centers in the nation.
Later that year, the Grand Island Public Schools board of Directors approved purchasing the former Pentair manufacturing plant at 1215 South Adams Street as the site for the flagship campus of the new Career Pathways Institute. This 66,000 square foot building is ideally located on 8 acres of ground and has ample room for future expansion.
The Career Pathways Institute learning plan was developed by a design team comprised of representatives from Grand Island Public Schools, Central Community College, the Nebraska Department of Education, the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, Grand Island Area Economic Development Corporation, area businesses, students, parents, and area schools.
Construction began in the spring of 2012 and Career Pathways Institute opened its doors in the fall of 2013. Initially, 150 students enrolled in the program, with room to enroll up to 400 students, including those from area school districts.
This innovative educational program is currently preparing high school students for employment in such fields as business, marketing, manufacturing, construction, automotive, healthcare, and early childhood education.
Classes are offered at three campuses in Grand Island: 1215 South Adams Street, Grand Island Senior High, and Central Community College.