College Possible Omaha has worked closely with Union Pacific (UP) Ties for the past year as their community partner. The partnership is continuing throughout 2022, and we are excited to continue working closely with UP Ties. Casey Dechow, the Manager II Training Delivery of Union Pacific, shared her thoughts on UP Ties and how it impacts our community. Continue reading to learn more.
UP Ties is one of Union Pacific’s nine Employee Resource Groups (ERG). The mission of UP Ties is to connect, develop and empower young professionals at UP through collaborative, social and community-minded opportunities. Our ERG actively engages with 600+ members to achieve five main initiatives:
- Advocate on issues that affect young professionals:
UP Ties is actively involved in the current events and issues of the greater Omaha community. Each year, representatives attend the YP Summit, the largest young professionals conference in the country. This conference is designed to develop a strongly bonded community and work to generate positive change.
- Build a community of peers through networking opportunities:
One of UP Ties’ most successful initiatives is the annual mentorship program. Long-standing leaders are paired with newer employees and interns to promote relationship development and networking opportunities. Mentors and mentees can choose to work with someone within their own department or learn from someone in a completely different area of the company. “With over 60 members in our mentorship program, we see this initiative as one of the many ways UP Ties embodies our mission,” said Marisa Garitz, UP Ties Mentorship Program co-chair. “The program provides opportunities for our members to grow their professional networks, increase knowledge sharing between departments and promote diversity and inclusion.”
Another main goal of networking opportunities is to have fun! Our membership engagement events include outings to Top Golf, holiday potlucks and bowling.
- Connect young professionals with influential leaders:
On a monthly basis, UP Ties hosts sessions where members can engage with our Ties Advisory Board (company executives who champion our work within the ERG) in a small group setting. Usually held over lunch, these sessions give members a chance to hear from the executives about their work, learn from their experiences and make connections with leaders outside their department.
- Develop members professionally and personally:
Along with the aforementioned mentorship program, UP Ties promotes corporate development within the company by bringing in leaders across various departments for “Tied Talks” to share their current work and projects with our members.
- Engage in the community through philanthropic activities:
In 2021, UP was honored to host and participate in multiple successful events, building a relationship with and fundraising for College Possible as our charity partner, including:
Annual Golf Tournament: Each year, UP Ties forms teams of four to compete in a golf tournament as our flagship fundraising event. At this event, UP Ties raised a record of more than $25,500 to benefit College Possible.
March Madness: UP Ties hosted a virtual March Madness basketball tournament bracket, with proceeds being donated to College Possible.
Panel and Resume Review: UP Ties worked with College Possible to assist with job searches and resume review.
Kickball Tournament: UP Ties and College Possible competed in a thrilling kickball tournament.
Spooky Chili Cook-Off: In the month of October, UP Ties hosts a cook-off where members volunteer their best chili recipes and bring servings for voters to sample. Prizes are awarded for the tastiest chili, best chili sales pitch, best chili name, and best decorations at their station.
Throughout 2021, UP Ties successfully raised $27,708 and recently announced its continued charity partnership with College Possible for a second year. UP Ties is looking forward to continuing our partnership with College Possible into 2022!