SANTA ROSA, Calif. – The apprenticeship director at Northeast Community College has been selected to participate in a year-long endeavor that is designed to advance knowledge and skill development of community college workforce education professionals who are relatively new to the field of workforce education.

Kimberly Andersen is one of 15 participants from across the country in the 2023 New Workforce Professionals Academy sponsored by the National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE). Other participants represent community colleges in Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, and Texas.

Through peer learning, mentoring and a network of professional colleagues, the academy is designed to increase the knowledge base and leadership skills of new workforce professionals helping them attain the knowledge and skills to achieve success and advance more quickly as future leaders.

The academy curriculum focuses on areas including partnership building within and outside of the college; communication, collaboration, challenges and barriers; workforce program funding; employer engagement; data and data analytics; program design and program review; credit and noncredit workforce programming; and goal setting and measurements of effectiveness.

The New Workforce Professionals Academy is designed and delivered by workforce education professionals who have extensive leadership experience in higher education and with community-based organizations. In addition to the trainings, each participant is assigned a mentor from the NCWE Board of Directors or other NCWE leader with expertise in the participant's area of interest. Dr. Tracy Kruse, vice president of development and external relations at Northeast serves on the NCWE’s board.

Academy participants will also have the opportunity to visit two flagship community college workforce development programs - Renton Technical College in Renton, Wash., and Grand Rapid Community College in Grand Rapids, Mich. - to learn lessons that they can bring back to their own institutions.

In her role as apprenticeship director at Northeast, Andersen works to connect local talent with employers to keep people living, working and raising families in northeast Nebraska. Apprenticeship programs are for anyone between the ages of 17-75 who is looking to jumpstart their career path or switch careers.

Northeast Community College has become a registered apprenticeship sponsor for information technology (IT) helpdesk, certified nursing assistant, accounting technician and child development associate. Northeast is also actively working on developing apprenticeship programs in advanced manufacturing, diesel technology, industrial maintenance, and welding.