In an effort to keep more young talent from leaving the state, Westside High School is partnering with the Nebraska Furniture Mart to create an entrepreneurial program at the school.

The Furniture Mart will invest $150,000 into a 2-year pilot fully immersing students into the business world to learn entrepreneurial skills, leadership, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and corporate insight as they prepare for future careers.

The program will allow students to problem-solve, think critically, and learn flexibility and teamwork from one of America’s most successful retailers. Nebraska Furniture Mart hopes to create local learning opportunities for Omaha students, as well as provide jobs and keep that talent in the metro.

“This is a win-win for all,” said Ryan Blumkin, Vice President. “For Westside High School, for Nebraska Furniture Mart, and for the community.  "We are excited to learn and hear ideas for how to improve our business from Westside students. We at Nebraska Furniture Mart commend Westside for creating such a unique platform of entrepreneurial thinking. We hope our investment will encourage other companies to get involved as well.”

Superintendent Dr. Blane McCann says “We have long been considered a lighthouse in education. This is another opportunity to do that. Our goal has always been and will continue to be to strive to put our students in real-life business situations that benefit both the students’ future and our great community."

McCann says they want their students to be mentored by some of the best in the business and to develop relationships to keep hometown talent here in Omaha.