KC Belitz: Bringing new people, growth to Nebraska

Originally published in the Columbus Telegram

People attraction is of universal interest to Greater Nebraska, and there’s never been a more opportune moment for success!

We know for sure that much of the growth in rural Nebraska will come from an increasingly diverse population. Today Nebraska and the Columbus region has the opportunity to make the case to a group of nearly 600 students attending the Nebraska Hispanic Latino Youth Summit that this is a place they can build a career and a life. The Summit is at CCC-Columbus and has now come to Columbus for several years.

Nebraska Community Foundation will present a couple sessions to the Summit attendees this afternoon. One session will engage the students in a discussion about the Nebraska Youth Survey results and how they see themselves in those results. The other session will tackle community engagement. Both these topics relate closely to our ability to attract and retain these students in Nebraska as adults. The youth survey gives us insight into what they are seeking in their future hometown. Community engagement is one of the opportunities this generation of Americans is seeking, so illustrating that Nebraska hometowns want them to engage will help make our case to keep these kids as future Nebraskans.

Thanks to all the partners who organize the Summit and thanks for bringing it back to Columbus, where we have a strong recent history of collaboration to welcome new residents!

Next month, we take another step in tackling people attraction as Nebraska Community Foundation and University of Nebraska Extension in partnership with the Nebraska Chamber and Peter Kiewit Foundation are convening people attraction proponents across numerous communities, professions, and industries for a day of connection, collaboration, and innovation.

The first-ever People Attraction Summit will not be a typical conference. Those who attend can expect to leave with a real plan to take action on people attraction in your place. The Summit is November 18th, the day after NCF’s annual training event. For those attending the NCF event, the People Attraction Summit is FREE. Otherwise the day costs $99 per participant.

Ideally a team of 3–7 people from your community will attend the Summit. In building a team, think about people in community leadership, government, education, economic development…all the pieces of people attraction. (If you can’t find a full team, you should still attend as there will be plenty of peers from around Nebraska to interact with!) The team should bring your big and bold ideas for attracting people to your place. Our five hours together will feature a dynamic opening session but then the rest of the day will be working in your team to select and build out a people attraction idea that can be taken home and put into practice!

We must (and we will!) solve the puzzle that is people attraction. The future of our communities depends on it! You can register for the People Attraction Summit by going to the NCF website, or just email me at kbelitz@nebcommfound.org and let’s talk about growing Greater Nebraska!

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