Drive for Five Year in Review

Workforce development continues to be a top priority at the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of the Drive for Five is to attract new employees into careers with our supporting partners, filling the more than 700 available jobs. We do this by recruiting skilled talent and by providing educational programs to students so they will be career-ready, and they will visualize their future here at home.

The effort to attract new employees is paying off. Even though we are experiencing unprecedented rates of retirement, this past June, Platte County’s labor force was the highest it has been since June of 2013. Area schools are seeing increased enrollment which indicates young families are moving to the area.

It requires a massive effort to obtain this progress. Here is a sample of the work the Chamber is doing through the Drive for Five to grow our regional labor force:
-On 18 recruiting trips, 1,163 job seekers heard first-hand about the opportunities in the Columbus area
-337 resumes have been collected and distributed to the Drive for Five partners
-50 interns participated in 4 networking events
-60 visiting college students toured local businesses
-We hosted two job fairs that brought 151 job seekers, 76 of them came from outside of the city of Columbus; 33 employers participated
-At least 1,300 students have been informed about STEM careers by the “Dream It! Do It!” Dream Team
-189 students learned how to create a resume and interview for a job
-405 first graders learned about on-the-job equipment at Vehicle Day
-342 students learned how to balance a household budget
-30 students completed job shadows, exploring area careers
-796 students learned about the college education they will need to obtain their dream job
-231 high school students toured our manufacturing businesses
-431 high school seniors received a letter from Mayor Bulkley encouraging them to work in Columbus
– 4,000 Columbus alumni have been invited to move back home
– Targeted marketing was directed to select locations with skilled workers who were displaced by a plant closing. We advertised in Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma, Colorado, Montana, Indiana, Kentucky, Texas, New York, Ohio, Virginia, Wyoming, and more. This resulted in 641,328 impressions on job seekers who would never have heard of the opportunities in Columbus, NE. 17,916 clicked through to learn more about these opportunities.

There is even more, but you can see so much work is being done to bring and retain skilled talent in our area. We invite you to be part of the team! To learn how you can become a supporter of the Drive for Five, contact Kara Asmus at