Back to Articles

Lincoln Business Task Force takes collaborative approach connecting people to careers

Businesses in Lincoln need skilled workers. But with unemployment rates being at a historic low, finding employees isn’t easy. In Lincoln, there are multiple agencies and organizations that now work together to connect clients to in-demand career pathways to achieve personal and family stability.

The goal of the Lincoln Business Task Force is to improve communication across agencies to meet employer needs. The Task Force achieves this goal in three ways: sharing information about employer needs, building relationships with human resource and recruiting leads, and hosting case manager job tours.

First, members of the Task Force meet with area businesses to understand needs and share program information such as paid training, case management, and other services. Each Task Force member speaks about their own program as well as the programs of other agencies. This way, the business does not need to meet with each member, yet becomes aware of all area services. All information is shared across agencies electronically and at monthly meetings.

The Task Force includes nonprofits and government agencies including Veterans Affairs, Res Care, Nebraska Department of Labor, Vocational Rehabilitation, Lutheran Family Services, the Commissions for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Proteus and the American Job Center/One Stop Operator.

Brittany Urias, Lincoln’s Regional Manager for the Nebraska Department of Labor, helped to draft the Task Force’s charter. “Previously, agencies were talking to the businesses separately,” she explained. “Now, we are respectful of their time by finding ways to present collectively to an employer.”

The Task Force also builds relationships with area human resources staff through on-site meetings, inviting employers to attend Task Force meetings, and organizing case manager job tours. The group can also share career pathways with the more than 300 case managers in the Lincoln area via its own listserv.

Cabela’s is one business that has seen the benefits of the Lincoln Business Task Force’s case manager tours. “As a recruiter, you are always looking for ways to expose your company’s job opportunities to new groups of people,” Vance Allison said. “We had 15 case managers from multiple organizations tour our office. Through a connection made during that tour, the Y.E.S.S. (Youth Employment and Support Services) representative referred a qualified candidate.” That candidate was hired and is still employed at Cabela’s.

Bryan Seck, Prosper Lincoln Employment Skills Developer, said, “The Task Force is an amazing example of Prosper Lincoln in action. It has become the go-to group for employers to identify ways to efficiently access government and agency programs and find employees for in-demand career pathways.”

The Task Force completed tours of Duncan Aviation and Bryan Health with scheduled tours for Lincoln Fire and Rescue and Lincoln Industries. Would your agency or business like to plug in? Contact Bryan at

Quotes From Our Supporters

Prosper Lincoln is one of the most exciting community engagement and community-building efforts happening in the country.  It’s a real model!

Dan Cramer, Co-founder, Grassroots Solutions, St. Paul, MN

Prosper Lincoln will not only benefit all of your kids and your community; it is also a model for similar efforts around the country, thanks to the leadership of LCF.

Richard Ober, President & CEO, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; Founder Community Foundation Opportunity Network; Concord, NH

Communities across the US are searching for innovative initiatives to improve economic opportunity and mobility.  We can all learn from the amazing work of Prosper Lincoln!

Brian Collier, Executive Vice President, Foundation for the Carolinas

Prosper Lincoln is breaking new ground in economic revitalization without displacement.

Ellen Shepard, CEO, Allies, Chicago, IL

To see an entire community come together to ensure all Lincoln residents are successful is very inspirational.  Congratulations!

Nancy Van Milligen, President/CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Dubuque, IA

In my regional and national work in community development this is one of the most unique and exciting strategies for true change I have seen!

Del Gines, Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Omaha, NE

Bringing together a multi-sector group of committed Lincoln residents will support prosperity for all.  Congratulations on this excellent collaboration.

Holly C. Sampson, President, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, Duluth, MN

Diverse voices from across Lincoln came together so that current and future generations can thrive. This is no small feat, and it’s inspiring to see that collective vision inch closer to fruition. You can consider yourselves a model for other communities starting to embark on this work.

Megan Powers, International Program Officer, The McKnight Foundation Minneapolis, MN

There is no better example of the power of convening than Prosper Lincoln! Bringing together members of the community from all walks of life to enrich the City is inspiring.

Regine Webster, Vice President Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is creating a national model for building vibrant, equitable and resilient communities.  Systems thinking + the right resources!

Sandy Wiggins, Chair, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is an important approach to solving community problems. By bringing together local businesses, nonprofits, neighborhoods, government and faith organizations, they are bridging divides, building connections, and sparking opportunities in way that shows true community engagement.

Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, Council on Foundations

This is one of the most impressive community focus efforts I have seen. You are making considerable progress!

Cynthia Hardin Milligan, Trustee and former Chair of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI

Lincoln is one of a few cities across America where citizens and leaders from across different sectors have come together to tackle their community’s most complex challenges. Your ability to already show results and persevere is inspiring.

Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities, Washington, DC

Solving tough national problems like the opportunity gap begins locally, and Prosper Lincoln is leading the way.

Robert D. Putnam, Professor of Public Policy and author, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

There is nothing more powerful in securing a community’s long-term health than evolving a shared vision through community engagement. Congratulations!

Rip Rapson, President, The Kresge Foundation, Detroit, MI