Rural Opportunities Fair Creates New Opportunities for Valley County

In a recent survey of UNL students conducted by the Rural Futures Institute, Central Nebraska was the second rated rural Nebraska region students desired to relocate to following their college graduation. Based on that information, the Rural Futures Institute will be hosting the Rural Opportunities Fair which will provide our community with the opportunity to connect with and recruit talented students interested in beginning the next chapter of their lives in rural Nebraska.

The first-ever Rural Opportunities Fair will take place on October 21, 2015 on UNL’s East Campus. Students planning to attend the Fair have expressed a desire to learn about job opportunities, entrepreneurship and start-up opportunities, social and leadership offerings, cost of living and housing options in our area.

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In addition to job and entrepreneurship opportunities, students are also interested in learning how they can immerse themselves in the culture of lifestyle of a community they may one day call home.

“I’m looking for a community that I can be a part of, not just live in. A community that actively works to invite new people into the community and is excited about the future.” 

“I’m looking for a community with an active social scene, as well as the opportunity to be a leader.” 

“I’m looking for a community that turns inwardly to do service, but with an awareness of larger world issues. I love the small town, but want to be around big-thinkers. I’m curious to know what educational opportunities are within the town, service opportunities, and public health issues.” 

Local organizations partnering to attend the Fair on behalf of Valley County businesses and organizations are developing materials to share with students related to their curiosities about our community.  The Ord Area Chamber of Commerce, Valley County Economic Development (VCED) and Valley County Community Foundation Fund (VCCFF) have jointly purchased I Love Valley County flash drives for the Fair, the same device provided for Valley County seniors at the end of each school year. The flash drives will offer a convenient way to share information, photos and videos about our community with UNL students as well as details about current and future internship and job opportunities at Valley County businesses.

In order to prepare for the event, the Chamber of Commerce, VCED and VCCFF would like to learn about current and future workforce needs with local businesses. Many students who plan to attend the Fair have in interest in a career field that would fill specific needs in our local community – everything from medical, veterinary, law, business and agriculture.

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An inventory of social and leadership opportunities will also be compiled to share with students. If your business or organization is interested in visiting about this recruitment service being offered by local organizations, please contact the Ord Area Chamber office at (308) 728-7875.

Connecting with University students about the opportunities to live, work, play and give in Valley County benefits our county-wide community. Recruiting new community members strengthens local businesses they may work for, local organizations they may volunteer with and creates new connections and relationships within our community, all for the greater good of Valley County.

The Rural Opportunities Fair is coordinated by the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska.

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