As a Council 2019 has been a fantastic year focused on attracting and retaining YPs in Omaha with innovative initiatives, exciting events and cutting edge community collaborations (and I guess a few alliterations). While our work is far from done we wanted to take a second to recap what we’ve been up to this year, cover how we did on our goals at the beginning of 2019, and give a short preview of what’s on tap for 2020 – the 15th anniversary of the YP Council!

 

Highlighting the “A” in STEAM

At the beginning of 2019 we were aiming to get more involved in the Arts & Culture / STEM community.  Unfortunately, the timing was not right to deliver in this area in 2019 as a Council- but I’m confident that the time will come soon and the future is bright for Omaha in this arena. With amazing work underway by a variety of organizations including the STEM Ecosystem, Nebraska Tech Collaborative, Maha Music Festival (and it’s merger with Big Omaha), BluePrint NE, and at the Omaha Chamber in a number of programs including Opt-in, The Startup Collaborative, and Careerockit. All of these, and other community initiatives (especially in the arts) that are in the works will have positive impacts in Omaha for years to come!

 

Want to Get Involved for 2020 and beyond?

If you’re interested in this area we would love to have you engage by:

  • Engage with these Groups: from joining them to attending an event – these organizations mentioned above and the dozens of Arts & Culture and STEM organizations in our Engagement Directory need your support to succeed!
  • Spread the word: If you see great things happening in Omaha – share it! We need to continue showing just how vibrant – and dare I say pioneering – we are here in the Big O!
  • Support Local: If we want to have more local artists, creatives, and technologists, the most important thing we can do is support those working here. From purchasing a local artist’s work to signing up to beta test for a new startup – these small tokens of support will benefit our community many times over.

 

Retooling our YP Survey

In 2019, we were interested in identifying “why” YPs might choose to leave the region. We have made tremendous progress on this and are on track to have preliminary results by the end of this year and shared in early 2020. While we don’t have clear trends identified yet, what leaves us excited is many survey takers have expressed a desire to move back to Omaha if we can make some of these recommended changes a reality.

Want to Get Involved for 2020 and beyond?

  • Share the Survey: if you know YPs (age 20-40) that moved from Omaha in the last five years we would love for you to share it with them so their voice can be heard!
  • Use the Results: This survey will only be successful if we as a community put the results we gather into action. If you’d be interested in seeing – and utilizing the results – keep your eyes open for when we share them early next year.

Cultivating Community Collaboration

Finally, we had a goal to increase our collaboration with other organizations in the region. If there is one area we’ve crushed our goals for 2019 – it’s this one. Almost every single initiative, event, and project we did involved partnering with other community groups on: Ending the Wage Gap Policy and a Pint – this was an event we partnered on with the Metro Young Latino Professionals Association (MYLPA) to discuss why wages for Latinos and Latinas in Omaha is below the city average.

  • Letter of Support for LB 627 with Lincoln Chamber YP Group – this was a joint letter we wrote with the Lincoln YPG chair and sent to the legislature supporting LB 627,a bill which would give LGBTQ Nebraskans equal employment protection under state law. Unfortuantley this bill was not passed in 2019, but should be back for debate next year. If you support this bill – please help us get this passed by contacting your state senator and urging them to support this bill in 2020.
  • Partnership with SHARE Omaha – we worked with SHARE Omaha to help connect YPs with volunteer opportunities across our community during their do(GOOD) month and had dozens of YPs sign up to volunteer during the YP Summit.
  • Intro and Intro 2.0 – Our Intro events were hosted in partnership with the Chamber’s Ambassadors program to give a warm welcome to new YPs in Omaha and give them their cheat sheet on where to go, what to do, and help them make new friends along the way.
  • State of Our City – Finally, we were proud to produce State of Our City for the third straight year, but doing so with a massive (and amazing twist), by creating it in collaboration with MYLPA, Urban League of Nebraska Young Professionals, and the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee for the first time ever. This was a sold-out event with amazing presentations, and (a State of Our City first) an amazing Q&A session with Mayor Jean Stothert on important community topics.

 

But That’s not All! We have more planned for 2020 and need your help:

 

  • YP Day at the Legislature – In partnership with Lincoln YPG, we will have a joint event on Feb 6, 2020 that will include sessions with State Senators and Legislative Aides and (rumor has it) a secret tour of the State Capitol. Full details to come soon, but make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter to be the first to know!
  • YP Summit 2020 – Join us for an extra special YP Summit where we will bring more of the great inspiration, connections, and energy of Summit’s past, but with a dose of history as we celebrate the 15th annual Summit!
  • Help get YPs engaged in Omaha – our Engagement Directory has been a success with more than 120 different ways for YPs to get involved across our community. So if you have an opportunity to help us connect Omaha YPs to their next great opportunity – please let us know!
  • Partner with Us – We had 17 partnership requests this year, and want to blow that number out of the water next year. So if you have something you want to partner on with the YP Council please tell us here.

 

As the outgoing YP Council Chair, I’m proud to look back at the amazing work our Council has done, and based on our amazing 2020 Class will do, and feel blessed to have worked alongside them. And while our work to make Omaha the place YPs choose to be from across the country is not yet done we know we can get there with your help! Based on what I’ve seen this year happening across Omaha – I’m confident that if we all continue contributing to our community in ways big and small, we will become that community sooner than anyone could believe is possible.

 

Keep Making Omaha Awesome,

Andrew Prystai