Education Center Ribbon Cutting

WEST POINT – A new building in West Point is aiming to not only teach the next generation, but to become a model for rural America to follow.

A ribbon cutting was held Thursday morning for the new Donald E. Nielsen Education and Technical Center in West Point.

The city, along with Northeast Community College, Wayne State College and Pathways to Tomorrow high school consortium came together to plan and build the 16,000 square foot facility that will serve all ages of students in the area.

Northeast Community College President Dr. Michael Chipps says the center was an area effort.

“We have a tremendous group of schools in this area that say we want the best for our students, period. How can we do that together?”

Programming and classes in the new center will focus on construction, manufacturing and welding.

New Nursing and Computer Science classes will be held in a neighboring building.

“West Point is always a special place, I’ve watched it for years. Number one, is when I moved here I visited 45 manufacturing plants and many of those manufacturing plants are located in this area within a 45 miles radius. There’s lots of what I call cottage industries everywhere, I was totally amazed by that.” Chipps says.

Dr. Chipps says the center includes all facets of lifelong learning and serves the needs of rural Nebraska.

“This is a grand experiment, It’s for rural Americans to say there is a way to be able to bring manufacturing, to bring jobs, good jobs that pay well, back into rural America.”

Dr. Chipps goes on to say these new opportunities will improve the local workforce, refining skill sets and giving personal enjoyment to those that use it.