National & Regional Key Partnerships

Community Ties Giving Program

National and Regional Key Partnerships

Key Partnerships help us support our mission of building safe, prosperous and vibrant communities by providing large-scale, targeted grants intended to achieve significant, measurable and sustainable impact focused on our priority cause areas in key communities. Key partnerships incorporate two subgroups, national and regional, and will be selected by invitation only.

Funding Priorities & Objectives

Throughout its existence, the success of Union Pacific’s business has been inextricably linked to the economic prosperity and wellbeing of cities and towns across the nation. We take pride in the role we have played in helping communities thrive, and believe our impact is greatest when it is authentic to our history and the company we are today. We have carefully aligned the Key Partnership cause areas to our company’s unique heritage, strengths and assets. Specifically, we prioritize funding for direct services and efforts that build the capacity of organizations focused on the following causes within our local operating communities:


In order for communities to thrive, citizens must feel safe. Just as the safety of our employees and community members is paramount to how we operate, Union Pacific is committed to helping communities prevent and prepare for accidents and emergencies, so citizens get home safe at the end of each day.

Workforce Development

For over 150 years, Union Pacific has helped stimulate economic growth in cities and towns throughout the nation by training and providing employment to millions of workers. We are committed to ensuring citizens in our communities are able to achieve family-supporting careers like those offered by Union Pacific.

Community Spaces

The vibrancy of a community is an essential ingredient in attracting businesses and tourism, and establishing a desirable place for skilled workers and their families to call home. Just as the railroad opened up avenues for sharing different cultures and experiences, we seek to ensure all citizens within our operating communities have access to special places in the community that celebrate cultural diversity, artistic expression, our natural environment, and the social interactions that enrich our lives. Ultimately, we are committed to supporting the local economy by building and enhancing community spaces that contribute to the distinct identity of a city or town, creating destinations where families, businesses, and visitors want to be.

Environmental Sustainability

The future of our business, communities and planet depends on bold action to reduce the impacts of climate change while building a more sustainable economy for the next generation. We are committed to supporting leading environmental non-profits and community-based organizations to advance the health of our environment.

National Partners

Union Pacific is proud to partner with these world-class nonprofit organizations, empowering communities to create a safer place for children and families, bring economic prosperity and wellbeing to our neighborhoods and explore boundless opportunities through one of our country’s greatest treasures – national parks.

Safe Kids Worldwide

Union Pacific has partnered with Safe Kids Worldwide to reach a full continuum – from pre-schoolers and K-12 youth to parents – with research-based education and messaging designed to reduce risky behaviors that lead to rail-related incidents.

Learn more about our partnership.

Foundation Key Partnerships: Safe Kids Worldwide stock image

The Manufacturing Institute (MI)

Our partnership with The Manufacturing Institute (MI), the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, will help shrink the gender gap in the workforce by inspiring more women and young people to pursue modern industry careers.

Learn more about our partnership.

Foundation Key Partnerships: LISC Karen Kenzie. JARC Trainee

National Park Foundation

As an early supporter of the National Park System, Union Pacific is proud to join the National Park Foundation as a premier partner of the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement, a bilingual public engagement campaign inviting all people, especially multicultural millennials, to explore and connect with the diversity of natural, cultural, and historical sites and programs across the National Park System.

Learn more about our partnership.

Foundation Key Partnerships: Nation Parks Foundation stock image

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, TNC creates innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together.

Learn more about our partnership.

Clymer Meadow Preserve, Dallas, owned by The Nature Conservancy | M

Regional Partners

Regional partnerships are granted by invitation only and, like our national partnerships, are often multi-year commitments, designed to provide long-term impact in our communities. We want to work with organizations whom we can explore big ideas, build powerful momentum within our communities, and achieve significant, lasting impact across Union Pacific’s network. Details regarding these partnerships are provided below.

Texas A&M Transportation Institute

Young drivers experience the highest rate of transportation-related fatalities. In an effort to change the statistics, Union Pacific is supporting the Texas A&M Transportation Institute's Youth Transportation Safety (YTS) program, which focuses on issues such as eliminating distracted driving, driving at night or while drowsy, not wearing a seatbelt or impaired driving. Funding will help YTS expand its bicycle and pedestrian safety efforts, as well as add a rail safety component. It also will support the next generation of the Teens in the Driver Seat app. A teen driver starts the app before a trip and – as long as they don't access their phone while driving – logs undistracted miles at the end. Points are awarded based on safely driven miles, and prizes are offered.

Medium Retina | Teens in the Driver's Seat Event

Union Pacific’s Senior Supervisor of Public Safety Buck Russel discusses rail safety at a Teen’s in the Driver’s Seat event, geared toward creating a traffic safety culture among youth.

Associated Industries of Arkansas

For years, graduating high school seniors have been encouraged to pursue a college degree, causing a decline in the number of people entering skilled trade professions. The Associated Industries of Arkansas now hopes to inspire students to consider a career in construction, transportation, manufacturing and other trades, preparing the next generation to replace the state's aging skilled professional workforce. To offer insight into these fields, the Be Pro, Be Proud Mobile Workshop provides middle- and high school-age students hands-on experience through diesel technology, fiber optics splicing and welding simulators. Union Pacific is proud to help the organization replace and expand its existing workshop, which showcases many of the careers found at the railroad.

Medium Retina | Associated Industries of Arkansas Welding Training

Welding is an important skill for the railroad, and visitors have an opportunity to see if it sparks their interest inside the mobile workshop.

Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership

Union Pacific is building on its 2017 partnership with Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, which provides interns with hands-on experience through internships. Last year, we hosted three interns, exposing them to various railroad career paths. The Opportunity Works program in Chicago, Illinois, gives young adults the resources they need to find a family-supporting job. The intense program begins with fundamental skills training, such as money management, scheduling and personal hygiene, followed by six weeks exploring careers in high-growth, high-demand sectors that serve as Cook County's economic engine.

Medium Retina | Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership Opportunity Works Program

Opportunity Works interns tour a Union Pacific yard to learn about day-to-day operations and various career opportunities.

Junior Achievement of Utah

In this digital era, a skills gap is making it difficult for some students to enter the workforce. Junior Achievement of Utah and Union Pacific are working together to put youth on the right track, enhancing foundational skills in finance, STEM, life skills and career awareness through gaming. JA City is an interactive, hands-on learning facility with the feel of an actual community, featuring 25 businesses. Each brings the city to life and helps teens dream about their future. The full concept for Union Pacific's kiosk is still in development.

Medium Retina | Junior Achivevement of Utah JA City

JA City in Salt Lake City provides storefronts where students work, learning about commerce and free enterprise.

Westside Community Schools Foundation

We often select a career based on interactions or experiences in our youth. Soon, additional Westside High School students in Omaha, Nebraska, will get to experience what a career in welding means. The Westside Community Schools Foundation's newly expanded lab will have flexible space for lectures and group activities, as well as storage for gases and additional Arc Welding Units. The purpose is to create awareness about trade positions that lead to family-supporting jobs, such as those offered at Union Pacific.

Medium Retina | Westside Community Schools Foundation Welding Program

Westside students learn how to properly use tools and create strong welds.

Denver Zoo

Like Union Pacific, Denver Zoo is a central chapter in Colorado's story. It is one of America’s oldest public zoos and still features structures dating to the early 20th century. In 2019, Union Pacific became the presenting sponsor of the Denver Zoo Railroad. Denver Zoo’s train station is at the historic heart of its campus, offering rides to more than 270,000 riders each year. In addition to fun facts about Asian elephants, rhinos and gorillas, the train’s conductor will share important safety reminders with passengers. Signs at the train depot and across the park will encourage visitors to consider how they interact with trains and tracks, and practice safe behavior at the park's two rail crossings.

Medium Retina | Denver Zoo Train Safety

Visitors have a chance to practice safe habits around railroad tracks as they experience Denver Zoo’s sights and sounds.

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)

Union Pacific and OMSI, located in Portland, Oregon, are building a Design Challenge for visitors participating in the museum's new Center for Innovation (C4I). C4I provides museum guests a space to design and test solutions to solve personal, local and global challenges. The goal is inspire children to connect with STEM-related activities. The full concept for Union Pacific's challenge is still in development.

Medium Retina | Oregon Museum of Science & Technology Center for Innovation -C4I

Union Pacific has proudly supported OMSI STEM-related programming since 2011.