Step Up Omaha, Revive Omaha Magazine

Step Up Omaha! Youth Employment and Career Exploration Program

Over 4,000 youth and young adults connected since 2008.

The Empowerment Network’s Step-Up Omaha program is nearing the completion of its 9th year. 2016 will prove to be the largest and most successful year with the creation of over 500 career exploration and job experience opportunities by the end of the year.

Launched by the Empowerment Network and North Omaha community in 2008 as the Great Summer Jobs program, Step-Up Omaha has expanded city-wide and worked with partners to connect 4,000+ youth and young adults, ages 14-21, with career exploration, job training, and internships. Hundreds of Step-Up Omaha alumni have graduated from high school, entered and completed college and gained part-time and full-time work.

With valuable financial support from the City of Omaha, United Way, businesses, foundations and community residents, Step-Up Omaha has expanded in measurable ways this year.

Participants ages 14-15 in the Step-Up Omaha Explore program participated in amazing career immersion experiences including:

  • Financial Management & Banking Careers – Urban Financial Services Coalition
  • Arts, Culture and History – Love’s Jazz and Arts Center and El Museo Latino
  • Health Careers- University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • IT/STEM Careers – Interface Web School & Metropolitan Community College Fab Lab
  • Government – Mayor’s Office, City Council, County Commissioners, County Treasurer
  • Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice and Fire Safety – Omaha Police Department, Douglas County Jail and Douglas County Attorney’s Office, City Attorney and Fire Department
  • Sports, Events, and Hospitality – TD Ameritrade, CenturyLink and MECA
  • Agriculture and Food Production
  • Entrepreneurship – Omaha Small Business Network, Nebraska Enterprise Fund
  • Business and Corporate Executive Leadership – WoodmenLife
  • Construction, Culinary, Automotive, TV/Digital Media – OPS Career Center

Participants ages 16-18 in the Step-Up Omaha Jobs, Careers, and Intern program gained valuable work experience at over 80 work sites, including American National Bank, First Data, UNMC, Omaha Public Schools, Omaha Police Department, Jimmy Johns and others. Interns worked in jobs and internship positions ranging from banking, information technology, and healthcare to landscaping, construction and child development.

Participants ages 19-21 in the Step-Up Omaha Connect program worked full time and part time in opportunities with the potential of long-term employment. Some participants made as much as $11 per hour for the summer and earned opportunities to stay on with their employer as they proved themselves to be valuable assets.

Businesses and organizations interested in becoming a sponsor, work-site or to learn more about the program can go to

Step-Up Omaha! is an initiative of the Empowerment Network in collaboration with the City of Omaha. Community partners include: Banister’s Leadership Academy, Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands, Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership, Heartland Workforce Solutions, Hope Center for Kids, Girls Inc., Latino Center of the Midlands, Metropolitan Community College, Omaha Economic Development Corporation, Omaha Housing Authority, Omaha Public Schools District, Salvation Army KROC Center, South Omaha Business Alliance, and the Urban League of Nebraska.