Written in follow up to an Omaha World Herald article published on September 2, titled: Where Millennials live in Omaha — And where to move if you want to avoid them.
As volunteers and young professionals serving on an advisory council to the Greater Omaha Chamber — we are Millennials. Our focuses and initiatives change slightly over time, but our purpose has always been very clear — the attraction and retention of talent to all 30+ communities that comprise Greater Omaha. Professional talent can be found in all ages and generational titles, but the “war for talent” in the United States today is primarily for Millennials. Phrases like “brain drain” and “tech desert” are the battles we face, and right now Omaha is doing everything in its power not to lose — because our future depends on it.
Many Baby Boomers are retiring. Gen Xers are stepping up and leading. Gen Z, the generation after Millennials, is starting to enter the workforce. However, the largest growing workforce of Omaha and other U.S. cities are educated, mold-busting Millennials. Businesses that make adjustments and evolve with the workplace preferences and trends of Millennials are thriving. And those that don’t, seemingly struggle to be competitive in attracting young employees. The same could be said for cities.
By 2025, Millennials will make up 75 percent of the U.S. workforce (Forbes.com). Compared to data presented in a recent OWH article, which stated that one-sixth of our current population is made up of Millennials, clearly, we can do better. We need more educated and skilled workers and we need them immediately. With this scenario on the forefront of many community plans, Omaha has begun to make progress.
This year, Greater Omaha was deemed the No. 1 ranked up-and-coming-tech hotspot, the No. 1 Best City for College Grads to Start their Careers in 2018 and Time magazine’s 2017 No. 3 Most Up-and-Coming City in America. With our progress beginning to garner national recognition, it is now more important than ever for our community to be welcoming to all. And, that the stories we feature show a wide open door to Millennials considering to call Omaha home. We should be shouting, we want you here!
Millennials are young professionals, consumers, first-time home buyers, and now millennials are parents choosing a school district and neighborhood to live in. This is a population that we should embrace. In Omaha, Millennials started Big Omaha. Millennials founded and are leading Buildertrend and Flywheel, two nationally known companies disrupting their industries. Millennials have redefined districts such as Blackstone and are leading many other major initiatives that are reshaping and driving the region forward.
Cities across America are embracing and recruiting millennials just like us. Millennials are to be uniquely appreciated in the same way we appreciate and respect the generations before us. Yes, you may find us gathering in some brewery in the urban core, but you’ll also find us at town halls, philanthropic events, cultural happenings and the voting booth. We look forward to working alongside our neighbors and friends to continue moving this community forward.
Signed — Members of the Greater Omaha Chamber Young Professionals Council