Exploring Career Education Locally (EXCEL)
EXCEL tours launched in the Spring of 2017 as a way to connect local high school students with businesses in Keith County. Based on its initial success and thanks to a grant from the Keith County Foundation Fund (KCFF), Jr. EXCEL tours were added in 2019 to expand the program to middle school students. This career exposure will assist students in choosing a post-secondary education path and increase the likelihood of them returning to Keith County.
The partnership between KCAD, KCFF, Mid Plains Community College, and the local schools has produced seven tours to date. Each graduating class will have been connected with approximately nine participating businesses, four in the spring as juniors, and five in the fall as seniors. Students gain knowledge in a vast array of careers, which include: Banking, Auto Body, Sheet Metal Heating, Healthcare, Radio Broadcasting, Fiber Communications, Agricultural Technology, Radio and Audio Technology, Law Enforcement, Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, Utility and Power, and Construction Management.
The Tuition Reimbursement Program was created in 2016 as a way to assist local employers in recruiting quality workforce to the area. KCAD has established TRP Contracts, and works closely with local businesses to recruit quality employees to Keith County.
The KCAD Revolving Loan Fund was established in 2017 to provide financial assistance to small & emerging private businesses in Keith County. More than $100,000 has been allocated to assist small businesses.
KCAD has assisted with one business transitions, two business expansion, and three new business start-ups through use of Revolving Loan Funds.
BUSINESS RETENTION & EXPANSION
Business Retention & Expansion - KCAD continues to exceed the annual number of BRE visits required by DED. Meeting regularly with local businesses in order to stay connected and build strong and lasting partnerships.
To date, KCAD has assisted with the following projects: