In May 2020, as the pandemic accelerated across the United States, Greater Omaha leaders formed the Thrive 2020 task force, a coalition of experts charged with addressing economic growth, small business, diversity and equity, talent, entrepreneurship and public policy in the pandemic environment. The team published "We Rise," a guide to economic recovery, in July 2020.
David G. Brown, president and CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber, said the region, which was recently named one of 11 secondary markets "positioned to thrive" by CBRE, is experiencing a robust recovery thanks, in part, to the Thrive 2020 and Greater Omaha 2040 teams' efforts.
"No question, forming a task force and forging a path through multiple crises moved the region forward in a positive way," Brown said.
Of the top 55 metros, unemployment in Omaha / Council Bluffs is currently the lowest in the nation, according to the Dec. 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics' Local Area Unemployment Statistics data. Additionally, Zippia named Omaha the "Best City in Nebraska to Get a Job in 2021."
Contributing to the economic upturn, were Thrive 2020 efforts that included:
accelerating funding for Omaha startups,
launching a financial literacy initiative,
building a supplier-diversity committee,
expanding diversity, equity and inclusion resources for businesses
creating a "candidate academy" for candidates of color
Greater Omaha 2040, a cooperative initiative led by the Greater Omaha Chamber, United Way of the Midlands, Latino Center of the Midlands and Urban League of Nebraska, also completed pandemic-related analyses, reporting research from nearly 90 CEOs revealed the region's focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) remains paramount to "future Omaha;" and, "quality of life" should remain an area of emphasis for attracting and retaining talent.