On Friday, March 25th, Nex-Tech hosted a signing day to recognize three area students who were recipients of the Technology Education Sponsorship program, a partnership between Nex-Tech and North Central Kansas Technical College (NCK Tech), and also signed on for future careers at Nex-Tech. The Technology Education Sponsorship Program covers the full cost of tuition and books for selected students pursuing an education in Telecommunications & Network Technology or Information Technology at NCK Tech and includes an internship at Nex-Tech. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be formally employed at Nex-Tech. Recipients of the prestigious sponsorship include: Caden Sutter, son of Stacey Sutter and Nathan Sutter, Kansas Connections Academy (Russell, KS); Gannon Winter, son of Victor and Joan Winter, Ellis High School (Ellis, KS); and Cale Younger, son of Jennifer and Aaron Younger, Ellis High School (Ellis, KS). The Telecommunications & Network Technology curriculum will be taught by Kevin Karlin, a former Nex-Tech employee.

“Hiring technical skills in Western Kansas has become increasingly difficult. In 2021, Nex-Tech conducted a workforce study and we realized that replenishing our technical workforce was a strategic focus for the long-term success of the company. We met with NCK Tech and they were willing to partner with us to resurrect and relocate their Telecommunications program to their Hays Campus and utilize the Nex-Tech lab in Victoria. The concept gained momentum when three other Kansas companies (Nex-Tech Wireless, GBT, and TCT) also decided to partner with NCK Tech with sponsorships and scholarships,” said Mike Pollock, Nex-Tech Chief Operating Officer.

Corey Isbell, Ed.D, VP of Student and Instructional Services at NCK Tech added, “This partnership is a testimony to the power of collaboration between two institutions. Our charge was to create a pathway to the workforce in the field of Telecommunications. With Nex-Tech’s donation of facility space, financial support for students, and tremendous expertise in these areas, we have created a direct pathway to a rewarding career for these students.”

The three sponsorship recipients were optimistic about the opportunity and have their sights set on a bright future. “This is the next big step in my life. I have practiced programming and building computers for years, and this program will fill the gap of networking skills,” shared Caden Sutter. Cale Younger spoke to what the sponsorship meant to him, “This will grant me the ability to focus

on my studies and not deal with the financial stress that comes with college.” Gannon Winter added, “I am excited to start a career, learn new things along the way, and work for Nex-Tech in the future.”

Students interested in the Technology Education Sponsorship Program next year will need to apply for a qualified program with NCK Tech (www.ncktc.edu), and will also need to complete the Nex-Tech Sponsorship program application, found on the Nex-Tech Website. For more information, students should reach out to NCK Tech at 1-888-567-4297 or visit their website.