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Nebraska retailer to give students glimpse of business world

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — One of the biggest retailers in Omaha is pairing with a local high school to encourage entrepreneurial thinking in young people.

Nebraska Furniture Mart and Westside High School have formed a partnership that will immerse Westside’s business students into the business world, the Omaha World-Herald reported .

The partnership will allow the retailer to get input from young people while giving Westside students the opportunity to gain real-world experience.

“It’s an idea we’ve had in our department in Westside for a while, because our kids are demanding more,” business teacher Jeanette Kleppinger said. “They want to be out in the community. They want to be making an impact. They want hands-on learning instead of just learning about the topic.”

The retailer is investing $150,000 in the two-year pilot program, which will launch in the 2018-19 school year.

Students will begin working on projects related to the furniture store in a “mini-pilot” that will start in January, said Kleppinger, who will oversee the program.

The program aims to teach students entrepreneurial skills, leadership, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, flexibility and teamwork.

Nebraska Furniture Mart officials said they hope the program will create learning opportunities for students, provide jobs and keep talent in the area.

“This is a win-win for all,” Ryan Blumkin, a Furniture Mart vice president. “We are also excited to learn and hear ideas for how to improve our business from Westside students.”

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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