Google announces $1 Million Impact Challenge Winners

Google has announced its 2020 Impact Challenge Winners for Nebraska.
Google has announced its 2020 Impact Challenge Winners for Nebraska.(KY3)
Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 2:17 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Along with a panel of Nebraska local judges, Google announced on Thursday the five winning non-profits for the Nebraska Impact Challenge. Each of these organizations will receive $175,000. For the next phase of the Challenge, Nebraskans are invited to vote for one non-profit to be crowned ‘People’s Choice’ winner and awarded an additional $125,000. In total, will contribute $1 million to Nebraska non-profit organizations. The Impact Challenge supports ‘Grow with Google,’ the tech company’s initiative to create economic opportunities for people across the country.

“We are very grateful for Google’s continued investment in Nebraska,” said Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. “These funds will go far in helping deserving nonprofits create innovative solutions for their communities and accelerate economic growth across the state.”

“We had an overwhelming response to the Impact Challenge from Nebraska’s nonprofit community,” said Dan Harbeke, Google’s Regional Head of External Affairs. “The grant winners are making a big impact in Nebraska, especially in serving underrepresented populations in the state during this difficult time. We are excited to see these projects come to life and look forward to following the economic growth these programs create in Nebraska.”

Google selected a panel of Nebraska judges to review applications from non-profits across the state and chose five winners who proposed bold and creative ideas to create economic opportunity in their communities.

The five winners are:

  • New Americans Task Force: CareerLadder (Lincoln) – connects Lincoln’s immigrants and refugees to high-skill and high-wage career pathways.
  • Greater Omaha Worklab (GrOW) (Omaha) – partners with employers and nonprofit organizations by offering resource navigation and personalized coaching to help people achieve success in their lives.
  • Kearney Works (Kearney) – tackles the issue of rural workforce development through services to help clients to be well prepared for the labor pool.
  • Metropolitan Community College (Omaha) – prepares Omaha Correctional Center residents for successful re-entry into the workforce.
  • Native360 Loan Fund, Inc. (Grand Island) – provides affordable capital and technical assistance to Native American business owners.

In the next stage of the Impact Challenge, the public is invited to visit to learn more about the nominees and vote for one organization to be named the ‘People’s Choice’ winner awarded an additional $125,000. Voting begins Thursday, July 23, 2020.

The Nebraska Impact Challenge statewide judge’s panel includes:

  • Garry Clark - Executive Director, Greater Fremont Development Council
  • Shonna Dorsey - Independent Talent Development Consultant
  • Jane Miller - President & Chief Operating Officer, Gallup Inc.
  • Owen Palm - CEO, 21st Century Equipment
  • Yesenia Peck - Diversity Manager, Nebraska Public Power District and President, Nebraska Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • John Wirtz - Chief Product Officer, Hudl

Google announced the Impact Challenge Nebraska last year. In their 2019 Economic Impact Report, Google announced that Google that businesses in Nebraska generated $3.58 billion of economic activity for 7,300 Nebraska organizations by using Google’s search and advertising tools. The full report details Google’s economic impact state-by-state, and features the stories of businesses fueling that growth, creating job opportunities, and transforming their communities.

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