It seems like no matter where I go in town, business owners are having issues finding employees. I recently read an article where unemployment in Lincoln and Lancaster County is down to 1.8%, which is down from about 2.4% earlier this year and 2.1% just a month before. You’ve probably read about this challenge to businesses nationally, and with historically low unemployment in Nebraska, the situation is even more dire in our state. With these record low numbers, employers are searching everywhere to find employees and offering unprecedented incentives to recruit employees.

Addressing these issues is a primary focus of LIBA this year. Over the course of the year, we have provided multiple opportunities to help business owners address the worker shortages they are experiencing. Earlier this spring we helped coordinate two separate job/career fairs where business owners could meet high school students to identify prospective employees. The first was at The Career Academy (a partnership between Lincoln Public Schools and Southeast Community College), where more than 50 businesses and organizations showed up to meet with students. The second was held at Pius X High School with more than thirty businesses attending. Students were prepared with their resume and several students were able to find jobs for the upcoming summer and business owners were able to find help for their business. We found both of these successful to help students and businesses connect.

Later in the spring we hosted a recruiting seminar following one of our monthly LIBA membership luncheons to help business owners hear from panelists who are finding new ways to recruit employees. The business owners in attendance were able to spend time talking with other business owners on how to effectively recruit – and especially retain – employees in this difficult market. Members came away from the panel with new strategies on advertising open positions, improving their interview process and how to identify new ways to utilize their current employees to help in the recruiting process for new employees. LIBA also hosted a new “speed networking” event to help connect business owners with each other to gather ideas on several aspects of their business. This fall we have planned another seminar to talk about retention of employees. We will continue to do what we can to adhere to our mission of educating business owners on the issues of the day to help their business prosper and grow.

Each month LIBA hosts several different networking events to connect business owners and provide a way to meet other business owners and make connections. We will continue to strive to make connections with our members to help grow their business. Last month LIBA joined with Lincoln radio station KLIN to start a new podcast, Lincoln Business Beat, to discuss timely and relevant information going on in Lincoln and how it affects business owners and our community. You can download the podcast on Apple iTunes and Spotify to catch the latest information relevant to business owners and our community. As the voice of Lincoln business, we are proud to offer this podcast to help our business community.

If you are looking for ways to connect with other business owners and learn more about the relevant issues happening in our community, the Lincoln Independent Business Association is here to be your resource for information and to assist you in connecting with fellow business owners. We still play a vital role for businesses owners by representing your business interests before our city council, county board, school board and state legislature. You can learn more by going to