Innovation…Leadership…Entrepreneurship…Rural Opportunities…were the focus of the 4th Annual Business Discovery Day, held on Wednesday, October 22nd at the Central Community College-Ord Learning Center and Ord High School.
Business Discovery Day is an annual event which connects high school students, entrepreneurial experts, business leaders and community developers throughout our region who share a passion for the entrepreneurial spirit, quality educational opportunities and the vitality of rural Nebraska.
Each year, event sessions are designed to empower youth by offering experiences to build leadership and entrepreneurial skills, learn from dynamic guest speakers and partners, tour and network with local entrepreneurial businesses and work collaboratively with peers to design innovative product and business concept ideas.
This year, Dr. Crystal Ramm, Regional Coordinator, CCC-Ord Learning Center, welcomed students with an inspiring message highlighting the abundant opportunities to pursue entrepreneurial careers and successfully live and work in rural Nebraska. Students began the day with exploring their strengths and passions and dynamic teambuilding concepts as they participated in a Gallup Strengths analysis activity. During the MiInnovation Competition session, innovation and creativity flowed through the Learning Center as groups of students designed and built product prototypes to grow future businesses in rural Nebraska. Next students visited with a college admissions recruiter to learn about exploring the incredible opportunities for pursuing unique agricultural careers that ignite students’ interests and passions, and the best practice strategies for applying for college. The tour session connected students with local entrepreneurial businesses to illustrate the diverse opportunities for careers and business ventures in our local area. The business tours included Anderson Pharmacy, NAPA Parts Bin, AG Pro Insurance, Inc. and Normal Roasting Company.
“Business Discovery Day is a tremendous example of how to engage youth in exploring their strengths as well as to demonstrate their innate creativity and entrepreneurial talents. The MiInnovation Competition allows them to work in teams based on their identified Strengths Domains and to tackle a unique and thought-provoking problem from the perspective of the needs and wants of rural Nebraska communities. And, the tours of local businesses open their eyes to real-world entrepreneurship and career opportunities right at home. Communities across the state, as well as the nation, would find a tremendous return on investment by hosting similar events on an annual basis” stated Gregg Christensen, Entrepreneurship and Career Education Specialist.
The power of partnerships is an essential element to the success of Business Discovery Day, as our dynamic partners contribute valuable resources and offer extraordinary experiences to our youth. This year the featured partners and guest presenters included Gregg Christensen, Entrepreneurship and Career Education Specialist, Nebraska Department of Education; Sue Ellen Pegg, Admissions Recruiter, UNL College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; Nancy Eberle, Special Projects Coordinator, UNL Extension; Diane Vigna, Associate Professor & UNL Extension Specialist; Dr. Andrew Zimbroff, Associate Professor and UNL Extension Specialist; Kayla Hinrichs, UNL Extension Educator, Central Area IV; Doris Lux, Director of E_Ship Center, Central Community College; and Karin Rieger, Associate Dean of Extended Learning, Central Community College-Columbus.
Business Discovery Day is hosted and sponsored by the Central Community College-Ord Learning Center, Valley County Community Foundation Fund, Valley County Economic Development, Ord Area Chamber of Commerce, Ord High School, and Ord Future Business Leaders of America Chapter (FBLA). The sponsors would like to extend sincere appreciation to all schools, area businesses, entrepreneurs, community leaders, session mentors, partners and guest presenters who support the event and work for the greater good of rural Nebraska.