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Inside Story for Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Quarter Heart of Metro Nominations

Nominations for the Heart of Metro Award are being accepted through Monday, April 25. The online form provides a user-friendly template to submit your nomination. Recipients will be recognized in an informal presentation if selected. Take the time today to nominate a deserving colleague for his or her exemplary efforts. To submit your nomination online, visit www.mccneb.edu/facultyandstaff/awards/heartofmetro.

Your Help Is Needed to Launch MCC Bike Share Program

green bikesThe Sustainability Committee is seeking volunteers to help assemble bicycles on Wednesday, April 20 from 3-6 p.m. or 6-9 p.m. at 525 N. 33rd St. in Omaha. The bicycles will be for faculty, staff and student use at FOC when MCC launches its Green Bikes Program on May 17.

By creating the bike share program, MCC hopes to improve traffic safety, mobility, wellness and sustainability. Modeled after UNO's successful Bike Share program, bicycle routes on FOC streets will be marked with sharrows, and bicycles and bicycle parking will be available to faculty, staff and students for trips across campus.

The program is a community effort. A generous grant from Live Well Omaha will provide the sharrows and bike racks, and the Community Bike Project is providing parts and some labor. Patrick McKibbin's Auto Collision Technology students painted the bicycle frames lime green, and Greenstreet Cycles has partnered with MCC to repair the bikes as needed.

To volunteer or for more information, contact Curtis Bryant at (402) 457-2853 or cebryant@mccneb.edu.

MCC Hosts Cinco de Mayo Festivities

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, MCC will host motivator and poet Carlos Ojeda Jr. at the South Omaha Campus Conference Center on Friday, May 6, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

The event includes lunch by La Mesa Mexican Restaurant and musical entertainment by Mariachi Luna y Sol. Registration is required; cost is $15 for general admission and $8 for MCC students. Call (402) 457-5231 to register.

On Saturday, May 7, MCC's Barbara Velazquez will serve as one of the grand marshals for Cinco de Mayo Parade in South Omaha. Watch the parade from 10 a.m.-noon between 24th and B streets and 24th and O streets.

Roll Up Your Sleeves and Turn Heartbreak into Hope

Down the street and across the country, there are patients in need of lifesaving blood. You can be a lifesaver and make a difference in the lives of others by donating blood at MCC in April and May. Every day, blood is needed for people with blood disorders, cancer patients, transplant recipients, trauma victims and many others.

When you roll up your sleeve to donate blood, that single act can turn heartbreak into hope for patients and their families. Schedule an appointment to donate blood.

Upcoming blood drive:

  • Tuesday, April 26, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Fort Omaha Campus, Bloodmobile near Bldg. 10 (Sponsor Code: 68)
  • Wednesday, May 4, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Elkhorn Valley Campus, Student Commons (Sponsor Code: 594)
  • Tuesday, May 17, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., South Omaha Campus, ITC Room 119 (Sponsor Code: 69)

To view available times and to schedule your donation appointment, click here, visit www.redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code listed above or call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) to schedule your blood donation appointment.

Not sure if you are eligible to donate? Visit www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements or call the above 800 number.

Registration Now Open for College 4 Kids

MCC's College 4 Kids program offers week-long summer classes at locations in Omaha and surrounding areas in June and July for kids ages 3-11. The classes offer an affordable option for summer education with topics like cooking, weather and robots that excite kids' imaginations.

For more than 25 years, College 4 Kids (ages 3-11) has mixed fun and learning in classes that feature science experiments, dancing, math games or babysitting basics, among others. The College 4 Teens program (ages 12-15) offers older youth a peek at different careers with classes on interior design, creating a commercial, starting a business or honing computer skills.

Both programs give children and youth exposure to the lifelong educational opportunities that MCC offers. While some classes are offered at MCC locations, others are offered at elementary schools in Omaha, Blair, Gretna and Bennington. Coordinators strive to keep costs low and pass the savings on to families. About half of the program's teachers are new each year, helping keep the classes fresh.

Registration for summer 2011 is now open. Last year, about 3,000 youth and teens signed up for the affordable classes; register early to guarantee a spot.

For more information on the program, visit www.mccneb.edu/ce or call (402) 457-2542.

Training and Development Workshops

Training and Development offers a wide range of professional growth opportunities for employees. April and May workshops include:

  • Making Communication Skills Work for You
  • Introduction to Psycho-Geometrics - a Strategy for Teamwork
  • TIAA-CREF Retirement Income Options
  • Feeling Confident in Public Speaking
  • Facilitating Productive Meetings
  • Delivering Outstanding Customer Care
  • Advising: Doing More ON Less
  • Fort Omaha Parade Grounds Place Game Workshops
  • Brown Bag Workshops: MCC Facilities Master Plan Informational Sessions
  • Excel Basics

For complete details, visit www.mccneb.edu/trdv/default.asp.

Diesel Technology/Truck Driving Programs Receive Outstanding Technical Program Award

Diesel awardMCC's Diesel Technology and Truck Driving programs were collectively named the American Technical Education Association's (ATEA) Outstanding Technical Program at the national ATEA Conference held March 30-April 1 in St. Paul, Minn. The purpose of this award is to recognize an outstanding technical program at a postsecondary technical education institution in the United States. The program must be exemplary, contribute to the nation's workforce and include cutting-edge instruction. The program's advisory committee must be knowledgeable and actively involved in business and industry.

The Diesel Technology and Truck Driving programs at MCC provide industry-responsive training for Class A CDL, diesel technology service, heavy equipment and power generation. These programs started just over five years ago with only a few students and borrowed space. Since its inception, it has grown into a facility of its own with planning underway for significant expansion in course offerings. Enrollment in the programs has increased substantially, and placement rates are high. Industry need and confidence in the program are driving the demand for graduates. The program has a strong advisory committee made up of representatives from the business, education and government communities. The council meets monthly to provide support in areas of industry standards, recruiting, internships, placement and equipment and vehicle donations.

The MCC faculty and leadership have also assisted in piloting several truck-related initiatives including the development of a middle school master's degree in the transportation, distribution, warehousing and logistics career path. They have established a SkillsUSA program in addition to a one-day student truck driving championship fashioned after the Nebraska Trucking Association and American Trucking Association state and national competitions.

Weekly Green Tip

MCC employees that ride bicycles to work can sign up for the Bike Omaha Commuter Challenge. Sponsored by Activate Omaha, this friendly competition challenges employers to log the most bicycle-commuter miles between May 1 and Oct. 1. More than 1,000 people around Omaha already are registered.

Participants ride as much or as little as they like and record their commutes each week on the website.

Those new to bicycle commuting should check out Activate Omaha's cycling resources and the website IRideDouglasCounty.org. For more information, contact MCC team captain Curtis Bryant at (402) 457-2853 or Julie Harris at Activate Omaha at jharris@activateomaha.org.

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