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Chamber honored with WNCC Friend of the College Award

Chamber honored with WNCC Friend of the College Award
Dr. Jeff West, left, 2017 chair of the Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce, accepts the Friend of the College Award at WNCC commencement. He is accompanied by WNCC President Dr. Todd Holcomb.

Western Nebraska Community College named the Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce the recipient of the 2017 Friend of the College Award.

The Friend of the College Award represents the highest honor given by WNCC to a person, business, or community organization for their commitment to education and fulfilling the WNCC mission of “Fostering learning opportunities for all – enriching lives, invigorating communities, and creating futures.”

Last fall, while conducting research for WNCC’s 90th Anniversary Historic Exhibit, a rich history was discovered with the Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce. It dates back to June 10, 1926, where Board of Education meeting minutes reflect that the Chamber allocated $2,000 towards the budget of the newly established two-year junior college.

In 1958, the Scottsbluff and Gering Chambers of Commerce partnered with the Nebraska State Employment Service to undertake an occupational survey of businesses. Published in 1962, the report indicated that Scottsbluff Junior College (now WNCC) was adequately meeting student needs for general education and pre-professional programs, but vocation programs were needed in auto mechanics, welding, and electronic technology. Thanks to the partnership, WNCC was provided pivotal feedback that helped to launch these vital programs.

That same year, Scottsbluff Junior Chamber of Commerce and SJC students sponsored the Farm & Home Show, and brought in the Famous Smothers Brothers for an appearance.

More recently, WNCC has partnered with the Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce on many initiatives, including High School Business and Industry Tours, numerous worker training grants, strategic planning sessions, town hall meetings, forums, trainings, and other initiatives that are important to the growth and development of WNCC and the region.

“During this special milestone year, it is a privilege to honor the extensive history of partnership and collaboration between our college and the Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce,” shares WNCC Alumni Director, Jennifer Sibal.

For more information about the WNCC Alumni Association and the Friend of the College Award, contact Sibal at sibalj@wncc.edu or 308-630-6571.

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