NORFOLK, Neb. – A majority of Northeast Community College graduates found employment opportunities or are continuing their education, according to a new survey.
The 2020 Graduate Report confirms that 98% of Northeast graduates from Dec. 2019, and May and Aug. 2020, either found jobs or continued their education. The report was released on Thursday.
Dr. Leah Barrett, president, said Nebraska’s community colleges serve as a major economic stimulus for building the state’s skilled workforce as they prepare students to enter high skill, high wage, high demand (H3) occupations and offer transfer opportunities to four-year institutions.
“Each year, students graduate from Northeast Community College, many of whom leave with more than one degree, in order to do their part to fuel the continued need for a skilled workforce.” she said.
Barrett said Northeast graduates demonstrated grace under pressure during the pandemic and the Graduate Report articulates how they are utilizing their education in society’s evolving normal.
“It further confirms that Northeast’s quality academic programs provide the foundation to fill the needs of our region’s and our nation’s workforce in a post pandemic world.”
Of those in the workforce, data demonstrates that 90% of Northeast’s 2020 graduates who earned degrees, diplomas, or certificates in many of the College’s career and technical education programs are employed in their fields of study. The report also indicates that 91% of last year’s graduates who entered the workforce remained in Nebraska, and 56% of those students stayed in Northeast’s 20-county service region.
Terri Heggemeyer, director of career services, said the report supports Northeast’s reputation in providing an excellent educational experience. She said the results included in the 2020 Graduate Report reflect graduates’ resilience, intellect and grit in completing their studies during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Northeast faculty and staff were creative and innovative in their instruction and programming to ensure students continued to learn, be challenged, and meet their goals. Through collaborative relationships, our graduates’ employment and transfer opportunities have remained strong,” Heggemeyer said. … “The Class of 2020 will be remembered as a special group of students who faced extraordinary challenges. I hope these unique circumstances inspire them to use their skills and talents they earned from Northeast to make the world a better place.”
Heggemeyer and Amy Koehler, career services administrative assistant, were commended by the Board of Governors for their success in achieving a 94% response rate from the approximately 860 graduates from last year.
Northeast not only contributes to the workforce through its skilled graduates and training programs, the regional economic impact is substantial to the northeast and north central regions of Nebraska.
Heggemeyer said a study conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. in 2018 determined that Northeast Community College contributed $236.3 million to the regional economy through its graduates each year. The figure represents the higher earnings that students earned during the year, the increased output of the businesses that employed the students, and the multiplier effects that occurred as students and the business’ employees spent money at other businesses.
In addition to the graduate report, the Northeast Community College Career Services Office offers a variety of services to prepare students for the workforce. This includes providing one-on-one advisement and personal attention to students as they look for employment; posts jobs daily to the Northeast on-line job board; assists with writing and completing resumes´, cover letters, and applications, and offers lifetime employment assistance to alumni, among others.
The 2020 Northeast Community College Graduate Report may be accessed online on the Northeast Community College website at neccwebstorage.blob.core.windows.net/documents/career-services/Graduate-Employment-Report-2020.pdf.