OPPD program helps high school students jump start their careers

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Omaha Public Power District's legacy program, now in its third year, is continuing to diversify their workforce through a program offered to high school seniors.

College student Nayda Zavala, who works at OPPD's call center part-time, said before the program, she was heading nowhere. Zavala has been in the program since it's inception in 2017.

"It's been huge growth...this gives you more of a chance for your future," Zavala said.

The Legacy Program allows students to learn about character development and jobs available within OPPD, and how to get them.

Brandon Micek, who said he wants to go into cybersecurity, is taking advantage of that. Right now, he's taking classes and working alongside employees.

"It's amazing," he said. "I couldn't ask for a better jumpstart to a plan that I have already had for a while."

OPPD CEO Tim Burke said there is so much more to the program.

"We are focusing on diverse students that can make a difference and that we can keep here in the community," he said.

Jamaari Foster is one of the many success stories from the program. he graduated linemen school a few months ago and at age 19 has been getting hands-on experience in his career field.

"They allowed me to work two days a week with the linemen...we get to go out and apply what we are learning in school to work," Foster said.

For him, the program has been a game-changer and has changed his life for the better. Just last week he learned to wire a street light, then he actually got to do that on the job.

"It really put me on track for something I can do for a long time," Foster said.