Business

Omaha initiative aims to add 10,000 high-paying jobs

An Omaha business development initiative is focusing on retaining talent and attracting more high-paying jobs to the city.

The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce's Prosper 2.0 campaign aims to add 10,000 jobs paying $50,000 and above, and create a diverse and inclusive business climate, The Omaha World-Herald reported .

The goal of the campaign is to make sure Omaha isn't flying under the radar, said David Brown, president and CEO of the chamber.

"To continue growing a strong, diverse economy, we knew we needed to increase visibility and awareness," Brown said.

An earlier version of the initiative, Prosper Omaha, lured the Boston-based restaurant software company Toast to the city. Chamber officials first visited the company in Boston, then invited executives to Omaha, where they connected them with entrepreneurs and financial firms who outlined the benefits of working — and eating — in the Nebraska city.

Toast now has an office in downtown Omaha employing more than 150 people.

The latest campaign aims to attract 250 startups and train 10,000 new tech workers. It also emphasizes the importance of a diverse and inclusive business climate, and aims to help 100 firms adopt "best-in-the-nation" inclusive hiring and promotion practices, Tim Burke, president and CEO of the Omaha Public Power District and chairman of Prosper 2.0, said.

"It's something we need to embrace if we want to keep our talent here," he said.

The chamber has raised $26 million of the $32 million it needs for the initiative through donations and pledges from some 180 firms and foundations. Brown said he expects to near that fundraising goal by year end.

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This story has been corrected to show the first initiative was called Prosper Omaha, not Prosper 1.0.

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