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Omaha Magazine


May 28, 2019 05:19PM ● By Kara Schweiss

LinkedIn was founded in 2002 as a social platform for businesses and professionals, and it has grown to become the world’s largest professional network with more than 590 million users in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. The company is headquartered in the Silicon Valley community of Sunnyvale, California, and boasts members in nearly every country in the world, supporting its global operations through facilities in metropolitan powerhouses such as London, Paris, Hong Kong, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Omaha.

That’s right—Omaha.

“We opened our Omaha office in 2002 because we saw great potential to build a world-class support team and to contribute positively to this resilient community. It’s since become an integral part of our North American workforce,” explains Kelli Pilgrim, LinkedIn’s senior director of support services. “We currently employ over 450 people in the region.”

Pilgrim says the majority of local employees are part of two teams: Global Customer Operations, supporting LinkedIn members trying to land a new job, learn a new skill, or simply connect to new people and opportunities; or Global Sales Organization, serving corporate customers at staffing and recruiting organizations. The community is connected to more than 30 million companies and 20 million open jobs listings.

“Every decision we make about our platform is in service of our vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.” she says.

The company is a good fit for Omaha, and vice versa, Pilgrim says.

“One thing that really sets LinkedIn apart is our people, and the culture of transformation they all embrace. It really begins with the innovation and transparency that our leadership team models. It’s clear that they care about employee success and they listen to enact change,” she says. “Because of that, everybody that works at LinkedIn knows that while they are here, they have the opportunity to transform themselves, the company, and the world—and that’s powerful.”

The building just west of 90th Street and Western Avenue that currently houses Omaha operations embodies the feel and aesthetic of LinkedIn offices around the world while displaying some unique characteristics, like conference rooms named after famous Nebraskans, Pilgrim says. Some of those appealing features will be carried forward into new quarters.

In January, LinkedIn announced plans to relocate its Omaha offices to a new campus in the heart of the Sterling Ridge development located southeast of 132nd and Pacific Streets. In its new home, the company will join a 150-acre, mixed-use development that includes 700,000 square feet of office space, over 30,000 square feet of retail space, several restaurants, a senior living facility, single-family homes, and the Tri-Faith Initiative.

Construction begins this year with expected occupancy starting in 2021.

LinkedIn’s Omaha team has expanded exponentially in recent years, so the new facility will not only accommodate continued growth in the Global Customer Operations and Global Sales Operations teams, but also expected growth in the areas of marketing, engineering, legal, human resources, and recruiting. The expansion positions the company to more than double the local workforce to 1,000 employees within about six years.

The new LinkedIn campus will include two five-story office buildings, each 100,000 square feet, to support the company’s goal of creating a best-in-class workplace for top professionals in the region. Along with the expansion announcement, the company also revealed plans to grow its investment in the local community through its partnerships with programs like Hope Center for Kids, Partnership 4 Kids, and the TeamMates Mentorship Program.

Omaha employees are highly engaged in the local community, volunteering with dozens of local nonprofits and donating to causes they care about, with their personal donations matched by LinkedIn.

“A couple of the most fun and memorable events last year include our Make-A-Wish Nebraska donation drive and the mini-golf course employees created to support the Food Bank for the Heartland. Also, we have social impact partnerships that include grant support and frequent employee volunteer events with organizations like Hope Center for Kids and Partnership 4 Kids in order to support access to opportunity for Omaha youth. Supporting their professional development through mentoring is another passion of ours, so we collaborate on events with the TeamMates Mentorship Program, as well as host Rock Your Profile sessions for various career fairs,” she says. “And as a member of the Greater Omaha Chamber and investor in Prosper Omaha, we were pleased to be the executive sponsor of the HIRE [Human Resources, Innovation, Retention, and Employment] event [in 2018], where we presented a LinkedIn Coaches workshop for attendees.”

The community can expect some exciting developments ahead, Pilgrim adds.

“Investing in this community is important and has been incredibly rewarding to our business. On average, our workforce here has grown nearly 20 percent year over year since 2013,” she says. “We look forward to continuing our growth locally.”

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This article was printed in the June 2019 edition of B2B. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Kelli Pilgrim of LinkedIn

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