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UWM will ensure that by 2025, 565,000 of residents in the Omaha-Council Bluffs community are financially stable so they can support themselves and their families.

The Challenge

Financially stable individuals and families lead to a more competitive workforce and a stronger community. Today over more than 600 local employers report that they have positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates. In the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area, more than 8,000 individuals ages 16 to 24 years old are not connected to education or work – the very systems and institutions that will help them succeed.



Income requirements force parents currently receiving subsidies to choose between the needs of their children and income increases. This may lead to the potential loss of critical supports including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, child care assistance, health care coverage, subsidized housing and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

*If a household receives a $1 raise, they could earn an extra $160 per month but lose $400 per month in benefits.



Poor financial credit and high debt are common barriers to asset development for low-income families, affecting their ability to finance a home or car, maintain savings or invest in the future.



Growing segments of the Omaha-Council Bluffs workforce lack the education needed for tomorrow’s jobs.



Receiving a living-wage income is the key to obtaining financial stability, but 29% of Nebraska jobs pay wages that leave individuals below the poverty line.



When individuals earn a living wage income, they can meet basic needs, manage unanticipated obstacles and invest in a brighter future for themselves and their family – with impacts that will last for generations.


  • Increase level of education and/or attainment of marketable skill (e.g. employment preparedness, GED, technical certification, higher education).
  • Provide formal connection/pathways to post-secondary education and training.
  • Connect workforce development programming to Labor Market Information (e.g. part-time to full-time, level of job, type of job).
  • Leverage formal partnerships with businesses and business sectors for employment and housing (e.g. property management, landlords).
  • Focus programming on Opportunity Youth population.
  • Target job retention and/or upskilling services.
  • Support consumer with repairing credit and increasing credit score.
  • Increase access to and utilization of traditional banking services.
  • Assist consumer with accessing public and private programs to increase assets (e.g. EITC).
  • Grow awareness and knowledge about asset building and asset protection.
  • Teach techniques of budget creation and management.
  • Improve housing retention through foreclosure prevention and financial education.
  • Increase awareness and access to free legal services that protect individuals’ assets (e.g. disability benefits, loss mitigation, clear titles, small business service wills).
Right Now in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro:

Experts estimate there are more than 8,000 individuals ages 16 to 24 years who are not connected to education or meaningful employment.

2012 – 2015, Based on estimates from the Brookings Institute, Social Science Research Council, and data pulled from the American Community Survey.

Right Now in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro:

About 320,000 people in our community are not financially stable, struggling every month to pay bills and ensure their basic needs are met. A third of this population is living below the federal poverty level.

2015, Population in the Omaha Council Bluffs MSA that is living at 250% of the federal poverty level and below.

Financial Stability Investments

Adult Employment

UWM’s investments and collaborative efforts help adults enhance their employment and help power our economy.

Asset Development

UWM invests in programs that increase families’ understanding of personal finance with respect to budgeting, borrowing, saving, debt and investment so they can stabilize their current situations and attain a brighter future.

Youth Employment

UWM invests in programs that provide education, training and skills so youth can secure and maintain a living-wage job.

Special Initiatives


In the United States there are more than 6.7 million young people between the ages of 16 and 24 that are disconnected from education or work – the very systems and institutions that will help them succeed. At United Way of the Midlands, we believe in these youth and acknowledge their untapped potential. In order to help them become connected, credentialed and employed, we are proud to serve as the convener of the Opportunity Youth Alliance in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area.


From Our Blog

Community Spotlight: Opportunity Youth

Helping Local Young Adults Move Forward on a Path of Stability. Young adults are known to have energy, aspirations, resiliency and untapped talent. But for some, a lack of education, job skills, direction, financial stability or comprised health may lead them down a...

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Community Spotlight: Housing Stability

Helping families build a pathway out of poverty. You may be surprised to learn that almost half of the households in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro pay 30% or more of their income on rent. For some, this means less is available for other basic needs like healthy food,...

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Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: A Multi-generational Approach

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: A Multi-generational Approach Symposium Series: June 2017 Poverty is a complex condition that cannot be addressed with a single solution. It affects individuals, families, neighborhoods and entire communities. Its impact is felt by...

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