The Greater Omaha Chamber’s senior vice president of economic development has left the post, the chamber announced.

Dee Baird came to the Omaha chamber in May 2018. She was hired from the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Metro Economic Alliance and had worked in higher education.

Chamber President David Brown said at the time that her key challenge was attracting more workers to keep up with the Omaha area’s business expansion rate.

Dee Baird

Dee Baird

Finding enough skilled workers for Nebraska businesses has been described as a “crisis” and “the most pressing economic issue in the state.”

The Omaha chamber is in the second, five-year phase of its Prosper Omaha campaign that, among other things, aims to attract 10,000 new jobs paying $50,000 and above to the metro. The Omaha and Lincoln chambers in June announced an ”Opt In” campaign seeking to lure tech workers from Chicago, Detroit, Denver and Sioux Falls.

David Brown

David Brown

Officials statewide have launched Blueprint Nebraska, which maps out a series of steps for the state to take to add jobs and increase per capita income.

The Omaha chamber gave no reason for Baird’s departure and said Brown for now will serve as acting senior vice president of economic development. The position also includes leadership of the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership.

The chamber is a regional organization, serving six counties in two states.

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