Covid-19 Impact

For 125 years, the Aksarben Foundation has been working with public, private, civic and philanthropic leaders across Nebraska to address issues facing the state.

Two years ago, Aksarben repositioned its mission to focus its energy on the issue of workforce development for Nebraska. Since that time, extensive research and analysis have been completed to take a holistic approach to addressing these challenges both by industry and by region, resulting in the launch of several workforce development initiatives.

None of us could have predicted that within the first quarter of 2020, there would be a global pandemic that would disable momentum, create even larger economic challenges and disrupt life as we knew it. But, in what ways have things changed, and in what ways are these changes examples of the creative problem-solving and innovation Nebraskans are known for? Amid the fear and uncertainty of the virus, another event took center stage across the nation sparking tension and protests. Now, more than ever, the importance of mutual understanding and unity seems unparalleled, yet remains elusive. So, where do we go from here, and how do we come together to ensure we can all make it there, together?

We wanted to know. We wanted to ask questions and tell these stories to remind every Nebraskan that we’ve faced challenges before, and we’ve emerged stronger than ever. We have work to do, economically and socially, but it’s important to learn, to find the positives in the chaos of the first part of the year and to change the narrative from one of fear and separation to one of strength and unity. As we look to the last half of the year and how we transform our state for our future, the most important thing to remember is that we’re all in this together, and we can all move forward together.

With these things in mind, we interviewed over 50 leaders from across Nebraska to understand how different industries and communities have been impacted by COVID-19 and are adapting, learning and overcoming together.

To read the full issue of the 2020 Spirit of Aksarben Special Edition magazine, CLICK HERE.


A Pandemic


Health Care



Banking & Finance

Business Operations

Sports & Entertainment


Disproportionate Impact

The Path Forward