Nebraska VR Where your future begins

Certificate Programs

Jobs Driven Training Strategies

Certificate Programs offer hands-on training programs for students and adults with disabilities. This opportunity results from a partnership with local Nebraska VR service offices, three to five core business partners in the area, a community college, and local schools. Students take classes, tour business, and either work part-time or participate in an internship with our employer partners.

The Program Model

The Certificate Programs were inspired by the Project SEARCH concept. The programs are business driven, short term, real life trainings that teach both technical hard skills and soft skills. Each gives workers the opportunity to acquire the skills that they need to pursue in-demand jobs and careers.

First Things First

Certificate Programs begin when Nebraska VR Employment Specialists from local area offices identify trends in client employment interest areas and job goals. Next, Nebraska VR evaluates the feasibility for the local area job market. The job field should be one that can provide future opportunities to grow or have an established career path.

The Recipe for Success

Three to five partner businesses are identified. The businesses have common interests in the types of skills and abilities they need to fill job vacancies. Together, the businesses work to identify exactly what they need in job candidates qualified to fill job vacancies. They can fit their hiring and retention needs with a 100% top-to-bottom opportunity to design a curriculum.

They start with a list of five to ten essential skills required for entry-level jobs in their businesses. Training partners review the list and identify the best way to meet the training needs and fill the business partners' labor niche. The training includes soft skills training keying in on the basics of being on time and dependable. Work place communication skills are included.

Who is a good fit for the Certificate Program?

This program was designed for students and adults who learn best in a hands-on training environment.

Want more information about these jobs driven training strategies?

Email Nebraska VR or contact your local service office.

See Map of Certificate Program Sites »

Nebraska VR's Certificate Programs

Certificate Program Sites


View Certificate Program Sites in a larger map.


Electrical Helper

Grand Island - Electrician Helper

Students completing this program will be ready to be an electrician's helper. They will have an understanding of basic electrical principles and be able to operate safely.

Duration: 2 Semester- Students can start at the beginning of either term.
Time: Class M, T- 6-9:50pm. Complete 3 credit hours, then hired by business partner and complete final 9 hours.
Location: Central Comm. College- Grand Island
Instructor: Central Comm. College- Matt Treffer (Middleton Elec.)
VR Contact: Julie Shively - Grand Island Office
Credit: 12 credit hours
Partners: Access, Mid-Plains Power, Heartland, Middleton, IES, Messersmith Electric

Community Health Worker

Kearney - Welding

Training will cover safety, blueprint reading, and basic welding techniques, including Mig and Tig. Students will have the ability to job shadow with business partners as well as class/shop time. Students are expected to have ample opportunity to learn via hands on practice.

Duration: 1 semester
Time: Courses vary currently based on instructor availability.
Location: Holdrege High School
Instructor: TBA
VR Contact: Elaine Anderson and Cassy Kvasnicka - Kearney Office
Credit: 12 credit hours
Partners: TBA

Auto Mechanic Helper

Lincoln - Auto Mechanic Helper

Students will learn basic safety principles, how to change oil and other fluids, repair tires, and courtesy checks. Students will be required to complete and pass all assignments. Students will also be required to demonstrate their skills in the shop. Students will have the opportunity to tour and job shadow with business partners during the course.

10 weeks, Summer session (July 14-Sept. 22)
Time: First 5 weeks class (M, T, W, Th) 2:30-5:30pm
Second 5 weeks class (M,W,F) 2:30-5:30, OJE (T, TH)
Location: Southeast Community College- Lincoln Campus
Instructor: Southeast Community College- TBD
VR Contact: Jessica Bergmann and Brock Wettstead - Lincoln Office
Credit: Currently SECC offers no credit
Partners: TO Haas, Jensen Auto, Firestone, Jiffy Lube, Sears, Graham Tire, Kia Motors, Husker Auto Group, Pittman, Anderson Auto, SECC

Community Health Worker

LIncoln - Welding

Training will cover safety, blueprint reading, and basic welding techniques, including Mig and Tig. Students will have the ability to job shadow with business partners as well as class/shop time. Students are expected to have ample opportunity to learn via hands on practice.

Duration: 1 semester
Time: Courses vary currently based on instructor availability.
Location: Donner Steel Works
Instructor: Donner Steel Works training staff
VR Contact: Marsha Silvey and Brock Wettstead - Lincoln Office
Credit: 12 credit hours
Partners: Donner Steel Works and more TBA

Auto Mechanic Helper

Omaha - Auto Mechanic Helper

Students completing this program will be prepared to follow all safety procedures, change oil and other fluids, repair tires, and complete courtesy checks. Students will be required to read assigned text, complete online assessments, and perform tasks in the shop. Students will be graded on coursework as well as attendance. Students will have the opportunity to tour and job shadow during the course.

Duration: 10 weeks, Summer session (June-Aug.)
Time: First 5 weeks- Class/Shop time (M, T, W, Th) 8am-12pm
Second 5 weeks- Class/Shop time (T, Th) 8am-12pm, OJE- M,W,F
Location: Metro Community College South Campus
Instructor: Metro Community College- Al Cox
VR: Lindsay Brown and Sara Hansen - Omaha Office
Credit: 9 Credit hours
Business Partners: Jensen Tire & Auto, Walker Tire & Auto, Firestone Complete Auto, Jiffy Lube, TO Haas, Tires Plus, Sears Auto, Woodhouse Auto

HVAC Helper

Omaha - HVAC Helper

Students will have an understanding of HVAC principles, basic sheet metal work, understanding of insulation and installation of ductwork, and basic electricity. The students will be required to complete assigned readings, tests, and demonstrate skills. Students will be assessed on attendance and basic work readiness skills. Students will have the opportunity to tour and job shadow with the business partners during the course.

Duration: 10 Weeks, Summer session (June-Aug.)
Time: First 5 weeks- Class/Shop (M, T, W, Th, F) 8am-12pm
Second 5 weeks- Class/Shop (M,W,F) 8am-12pm, OJE- T,TH
Location: Metro Community College South Campus, some classes will be conducted at other MCC campuses, Elkhorn Valley, Fort, and Blair.
Instructor: Metro Community College- Bob Boyer
VR Contact: Carly Benson and Sara Hansen- Omaha Downtown Office
Credit: Credit hours vary (14 credit hours)

Partners: A-1 United, Frazier Company, SOS Heating & Air, Johnstone Supply, Fred's Heating & Air, Standard Heating and Air

Learn More!

Watch video featuring the Certificate Program for HVAC.

Certificte Program Success Story

Meet Andrew (A.J.) Sigler

A.J. Sigler participated in one of Nebraska VR's Certificate Programs after an acquired brain injury changed his ability to continue as a writer and reporter. To address his concerns for the future and find his new work niche, A.J worked with Employment Specialist Carly Benson and Vocational Evaluator Dana Daigre. They worked together to find the right training to match his strengths and abilities through this short-term, hands-on, and business-lead training opportunity. The Certificate Program at Omaha's A1 United Heating, Air, and Electrical met A.J.'s need to access a new career path. The business also benefitted by training A.J. and other participants with the types of skills and abilities needed to fill high turnover job vacancies within their company. Technician/Trainer Jesse Hensen reports that after a couple of years as Construction Technician, A.J is now taking Journeymen classes to advance his career.

Non-Discrimination Statement

It is the policy of the Nebraska Department of Education not to discriminate on the basis of gender, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin or genetic information in its education programs, administration, policies, employment or other agency programs.

Our Mission

We help people with disabilities, prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment while helping businesses recruit, train, and retain employees with disabilities.

Contact Us

Nebraska VR
Department of Education, State of Nebraska
Address: P.O. Box 94987, Lincoln, NE 68509
Telephone: 402-471-3644
Toll Free: 877-637-3422 or 877-NE-REHAB
FAX: 402-471-0788
E-mail: