Building Relationships

Nebraska Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Program (MESA)

The University of Nebraska established this minorities-in-engineering program in 1976. Nebraska MESA's mission is to promote an interest in math, engineering and the sciences among Nebraska's minority youth. To accomplish this, Nebraska MESA provides learning opportunities and informational resources as foundation tools for future success.

Nebraska MESA:

  • Sponsors the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Summer on Campus program as a means of encouraging and motivating Nebraska minority students.
  • Conducts mathematics, engineering and science programs during the school year for Nebraska minority students who demonstrate a potential for success.
  • Develops work experiences for Nebraska minority students that underline the importance of scholastic achievement as a stepping stone to career fulfillment and success.

In addition to financial support from the Union Pacific Foundation, Union Pacific employees are ongoing members of the Nebraska MESA Board of Directors. UP also sponsors a MESA Club in North Platte, Nebraska.

Urban League Partners Program

This unique program was developed in conjunction with the Urban League of Nebraska. It partners the Urban League of Nebraska and other Urban League affiliates to recruit qualified minority applicants for job vacancies in the Railroad's major hiring locations. Working with the Urban League of Nebraska, UPRR has established Urban League recruiting partners in St. Louis, Chicago, Portland, Kansas City, Phoenix, Denver and Dallas.

Direction, Recruitment, Education and Mentoring (DREAM) Program

The DREAM program matches high school students with an interest in technology, with Union Pacific employees. Union Pacific Information Technology Department launched DREAM as a grassroots initiative, recognizing that many of Omaha's technology companies were filling their employment needs by drawing from the local student base. As a business community member, Union Pacific had a vested interest in the Omaha Public Schools (OPS) system and its success in providing high school graduates with college prerequisites.

The DREAM program seeks to prepare young people for the business world through one-to-one adult-student relationships that provide career, educational and social guidance. The mentoring program builds students' self-esteem and confidence.

Over the last several years, college recruitment for computer science and information systems graduates has become increasingly competitive on a national scale. This fact validated Union Pacific's belief that building mentoring relationships with students having the potential to become future UP employees would benefit OPS students, the city and surrounding communities, and Omaha-area businesses, including Union Pacific Railroad. A preceding relationship Union Pacific had with its "Adopt-a-School" partner, Omaha North High - the OPS magnet school for mathematics and computers - made the DREAM program a logical extension.

The program is staffed by volunteer Union Pacific employees. These volunteers assume their roles knowing that the required tasks are in addition to their regular job responsibilities. Volunteer mentors are assigned to students during their sophomore year, with expectations that the close relationship will continue through the students' senior year. Though mentorship is the primary volunteer role, other employees help plan and administer the activities of several committees.

Women's Leadership Conference

Union Pacific is a founding member and a continuing corporate sponsor of the Omaha Women's Leadership Conference (ICAN). The Women's Leadership Conference annually presents its conference to increase the personal effectiveness of women within and outside of the corporate arena.