The Chamber Blog

Scholarships to Students who Return to Southwest Nebraska

Many community-based affiliated funds include scholarship accounts. But scholarships shouldn't be a one-way ticket out of town; they should be a round trip ticket for kids to eventually return home. Where appropriate, scholarship committees may want to reassess their guidelines.

In 2011, Jordan Pick and Emily Wood were the first students to benefit from the newly formed Nelson Hometown Scholarship program, which awards scholarships of at least $1,500 or more annually. The fund was established by Senator Ben Nelson. Applicants must attend the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis, Mid-Plains Community College in McCook or North Platte, or the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

Importantly, they must express a sincere desire to return to southwest Nebraska sometime in the future. Now, four years later, Jordan and Emily have not moved back to McCook-yet-but they are working their way home in the foreseeable future. Jordan graduated from UNK with an early childhood education degree which allows her to teach young children up to third grade. She has applied for a teaching position in McCook. Jordan is also working on setting up a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the intent of helping military families. She is currently in the process of filing the paperwork.

Emily graduated from UNK as an English major with a Business Administration minor. She will attend law school at UNL. She is no longer eligible for the renewable scholarship, but she plans to return to McCook to practice law with her father, County Attorney Paul Wood.

"They are exactly what I had hoped we would have for the Nelson Hometown Scholarship program - to get their education where necessary and to return to their roots in Southwest Nebraska," Senator Nelson said.

Nebraska Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, serves communities, organizations and donors throughout Nebraska.

Employment Law Check-Up

Following HR procedures for your employees is crucial. Here are some great tips from

Work can get a little hectic sometimes. Running from here to there, meeting after meeting, stressing about a thousand different things - it helps to slow down every once in a while to take an inventory. Here are a few areas we think could benefit from a quick checkup. A few minutes of spot checking could save you a big mess down the line.

Job Descriptions:

As one of the earliest areas an employer can get themselves into trouble during the employment process, job descriptions need to follow a few rules to be effective. Make sure job descriptions are free of discriminatory language, which can be as innocent as something like "seeking a youthful candidate." Descriptions should also clearly and accurately represent all of the job's true responsibilities as they could be referenced during a potential future lawsuits.


Similar to job descriptions, applications can get sticky for some employers. Making sure to stick to the necessary information is key.  Employment applications should also contain a statement that explains the employer does not discriminate. A simple "[Company] is an Equal Opportunity Employer" can cover a lot of issues.

Performance Reviews:

When it comes to reviewing employee performance two aspects are essential: documentation and clarity. Reviews are a great way to give employees helpful feedback, but make sure you are doing it consistently, otherwise the benefits may be lost. Reviews can also demonstrate a history of poor performance, which can give an employer some protection in employment-related lawsuits. So make sure you are you are being thorough and maintaining clear records.

Record keeping requirements:

Are you keeping the right things, in the right places, for the right amount of time? Different forms and information need to be kept for certain lengths of time during and after employment and sometimes in specific places, as well. Consult the record keeping requirements appendix in your Model Policies and Forms guide for federal and state-specific rules and regulations.

Posting requirements:

One way that employers are required to notify their employees of their rights is through employment law posters. In addition to the 6 federal posters, states require posters of their own on varying laws. Additionally, these posters change from time to time, often with little warning. Check the list below to make sure you are using the proper federal posters and check the posting requirements appendix in your Model Policies and Forms guide for state requirements. 

  • Labor Standards Act (FLSA): July 2009
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): February 2013/li>
  • Job Safety & Health Protection (OSHA): No date, but the most current one has a QR code in the corner (a small black and white symbol)
  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA): June 2012
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA): October 2008
  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC): November 2009

Click here to order the brand new, all-in-one federal compliance poster from

Looking for more information?

Hrsimple rresources cover a wide range of employment law topics from state and federal employment law, best practice advice, policies, forms, documents and so much more.