Become a Participating Employer

STEP-UP OMAHA! collaborates with employers and organizations from a wide range of industries to help expand the future workforce pipeline by placing prepared young adults in mutually beneficial and diverse work experiences across the Omaha metropolitan area.

Our young adults carry out various jobs, from administrative roles at worksites such as banks, government agencies, and corporate offices to more hands-on roles in areas such as grounds keeping, urban gardening, construction and event planning.

The summer program for 2021 is June 7 – August 6. (Returning Interns (16+) report to worksites as early as June 7th, while new interns will start on their worksites on June 21st following two weeks of employment training).

The Step-Up Omaha team is monitoring the health recommendations from the Douglas County Health Director and will make final decisions regarding in-person or virtual experiences as soon as possible.  We anticipate a mix of virtual and in-person training this summer.  The team is working with health professionals to assure all COVID-19 protocols are followed.

We look forward to working with you and your company to see how a Step-Up Omaha! intern can be an asset in your workplace!


  1. Increase the diversity of your workforce; Diversity improves the bottom-line!
  2. Generate new, creative and innovative ideas with fresh insights.
  3. Build a pipeline of qualified and prepared workers; reverse the brain drain.
  4. Increase your summer workforce at a low cost; develop local talent
  5. Build a stronger community by developing tax-paying and connected citizens

There are four ways that businesses and organizations can invest in this vitally important initiative:

  1. Hire participants from the initiative and provide a high quality work experience
  2. Provide work experience opportunities that are subsidized or partially subsidized
  3. Sponsor participants financially. Participants will be placed on a separate work site
  4. Make a financial contribution to support the initiative.

Businesses and organizations that would like to support the initiative, please contact Willie Barney at 402-502-5153.

You can also download, review and complete the pledge and/or job request form to become a partner with Step-Up Omaha!

If you would like to sponsor or hire an intern(s) for the 2021 with funding from your organization, Click Here to complete the form online or download the form here.

If you would like to hire a summer intern and need subsidized funding,  Click Here to complete the form online or download the form here.



Haga clic aquí para obtener una descripción general del programa en español.

Haga clic aquí para obtener el formulario de la promesa de donación de Step-Up Omaha en español.
Haga clic aquí para obtener el formulario de solicitud de trabajo de Step-Up Omaha en español.



“A job gives teenagers and young adults more than a paycheck.  Jobs help to develop self-esteem, teach time management skills and how to work as part of a team.  The Step-Up jobs program provides that first job opportunity for many and Omaha businesses have a new pool of eager job candidates. The City of Omaha is proud to return as a Step-Up partner in 2021.”
—Mayor Jean Stothert, City of Omaha

“One of the greatest strengths of the United States is its diversity.  At the same time, this diversity has been underused as a resource.  We also know over the years there’s been a shortage of African-Americans and people of color in senior management and executive suites in Omaha and the Council Bluffs area.  The Empowerment Network’s Step-Up Omaha program is one vital tool to addressing this long term.  It shows our youth what is available right here at home.”
– Steve Wild,
President, Charles E. Lakin Foundation

“We are excited to be a part of the continued expansion of this jobs program.  The Empowerment Network has been effective with this program for the last fourteen years. They have excellent connections to youth in the community and offer great support to employers. The youth participants are respectful and courteous.  It’s wonderful to see their horizons expand as they are exposed to new work challenges.”
—John Kotouc, Executive Chairman–American National Bank

“UNMC is a proud participant in Step-Up Omaha,” Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. said.  “This past summer, a Step-Up Omaha participant brought tremendous energy to the chancellor’s office, while gaining valuable professional experience.  I would encourage all Omaha-area organizations and businesses to look at participating in this program, which is crucial to building a highly competitive workforce that is reflective of the communities we serve.”
— Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gould, M.D., UNMC

“We’re not asking for a charitable contribution, we’re asking you to invest in the people that will potentially be able to stay with you, your organization, develop a career, it’s good for the community and good for your business.  I started my career in law enforcement with a summer job just like Step-Up Omaha!”
—John Ewing, Douglas County Treasurer, and Empowerment Network Board Member

“There is a direct correlation between violence prevention and jobs and job training.  We have demonstrated over the past fourteen years that when our young people are provided opportunities, involvement in negative activities goes down.  Step-Up has evolved well beyond helping to prevent gun violence, it provides opportunities for many students from all walks of life to get exposed to career options.  We need our business community to make an investment.”
—Councilman Ben Gray, City of Omaha

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