August 2020 Newsletter

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Building Omaha’s Future Leaders

August 2020

Telling Our Story

Jim Dennell, Senior Principle at BCDM Architects, tells his story on how the Omaha STEM Ecosystem collaborated with BCDM in building a stronger STEM community by connecting education and business development for tomorrow’s workforce.

BCDM Architects, a STEM business serving the Architectural, Engineering and Construction Industry has been involved with Omaha STEM Ecosystem since it launched the collaborative STEM initiative in 2016. Since that time, BCDM leadership has invested over 700 hours and financial support to expand the network of industry, education and agencies who benefit from a career ready STEM workforce. This alliance shares the common goal to align each other in the most optimum way to create a career pathway that is current, efficient and cost effective.

As much as BCDM feels an obligation to the community in the developing the future STEM workforce, they are motivated by the return on investment potential. Prior to the OSE, BCDM struggled to validate that ROI. The opportunity to collaborate through the OSE network of resources has unveiled the margins to be gained by aligning those forming the STEM workforce with the current and future needs of our industry. BCDM and the AEC community spends $1.4 million per college graduate to be self-sufficient. Meaning, they independently earn their wage.

The fruit of last four years has created relationships and trust to have the candid discussions to obtain the optimum career pathways. As an industry partner, we have discovered optimum alignment is dependent on understanding the current needs of industry. This may seem obvious, but until now, a forum like OSE hasn’t existed for industry to collaborate within their fields to determine the “need”. Knowing the “need”, education and agency can be strategic in their formation along the career pathway.

Omaha STEM Ecosystem is poised to continue the facilitation and collaboration effort to connect:

  • Industry with Industry
  • Industry with Education
  • Education with Agencies
  • Each other with Each other

Jim Dennell, Senior Principal

BCDM Architects

Welcoming John Fonda

The Omaha STEM Ecosystem is pleased to announce John Fonda has joined the OSE Founders Advisory Board and Executive Committee. John is the Chairman/CEO of John Day Company. He is active in community and statewide organizations and currently serving as area manager of Dream It Do It, a national organization that is a partnership of education and industry partners who are dedicated to educating youth about career paths in manufacturing and industry. Omaha STEM Ecosystem welcomes John and looks forward to working with him over the next three years.

Midlands Business Journal

The need for STEM talent in the region has increased 31% over the last decade. Omaha STEM Ecosystem is a collective impact organization that works to change systems and unite stakeholders for a common goal of closing the STEM talent gap. Thank you to the Midlands Business Journal for your article highlighting our work and the important work of our partners and volunteers.

Read more HERE

Virtual Roundtable Series

As we navigate the challenges and opportunities in this new culture, we draw on the knowledge of our diverse network of thought leaders and experts to understand the implications to our work, education, and future workforce. Please join us for this series of virtual Roundtable Discussions to share our experiences and lessons learned among a diverse set of stakeholders.

Register HERE


We greatly appreciate the ongoing support of our community partners and members, as our work addressing the critical shortfall of STEM professionals in the Greater Omaha is a community effort. Even the smallest donation makes a huge impact on building a stronger STEM community by connecting education and business development for tomorrow’s workforce.Those who feel compelled to make a monetary donation to the Omaha STEM Ecosystem can now do so online through our new Donation Page

Reference our Virtual Learning Resources: Check out all the information on ways to make staying at home an opportunity to learn and grow by clicking on the image above or this link!

Now featuring resources from IEXCEL and National Inventors Hall of Fame

We want you to be a part of the conversation about how to find solutions for addressing the shortfall of STEM professionals in the Omaha community. To collaborate with innovators, educators, researchers and leaders of tomorrow, join the Omaha STEM Ecosystem today at

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