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Best Cities in the Midwest: Papillion

Updated on February 17, 2022
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years experience in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, history, and aerospace education for USAF Civil Air Patrol.

Notice how the ears and brown fur resemble the outline of a butterfly.
Notice how the ears and brown fur resemble the outline of a butterfly. | Source

Stable Business in Sarpy County, Nebraska

Good jobs offered consistently make a city a good place to live.

The State of Nebraska experienced one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation during the fall of 2009 at 4.9%. That of Sarpy County was only half that of the national average in September 2009. The county rate increased to 5.2% in January 2010, but began a consistent decline for seven years, ending at 2.7% in May 2017 and 2.6% in January 2022.

A low unemployment rate indicates that county does not have enough workers to fill the advertised job positions. More workers are needed.

Major contributors to Papillion's economy include:

  1. Mutual of Omaha
  2. TD Ameri­trade
  3. Union Pacific Railroad
  4. ConAgra
  5. Alegent Health
  6. Shadow Lake Towne Center Mall

ConAgra is also the top job poster among all employers in Papillion, offering the most job openings overall. Over 15,000 job openings were advertised for the Papillion area during July-August 2017, increasing to over 19,000 during February 2022.

Shadow Lake Towne Center Mall:
7775 Olson Dr, Papillion, NE 68046, USA

get directions

Shadow Lake Towne Center Mall

This attraction is popular with local residents and visitors for shopping and entertainment, but it also advertises substantial employment opportunities, especially online. Its retail shops include clothing stores, restaurants, pet stores, and services shops, along with a grocery store and healthcare services. Anchor stores include Gordman's, JC Penney, and Hy-Vee Grocery.

A suburb within 10 miles of Omaha, Papillion ranks in the Top 10 Best Places to Live named by Money Magazine in 2009 - 2016.

Halleck Nature Trail :
Halleck Park, Halleck Park Rd, Papillion, NE 68046, USA

get directions

Butterflies and Greenways

Papillion ("Butterfly" in French) was founded in 1856 and moved to its present site in 1870. City legends hold that the French discovered the land in a valley filled with native flowers and butterflies of many kinds.

Today, the local landscape is full of native wildlife, manicured green spaces, and a sustainability movement that has resulted in hiking trails and fishing places.

Halleck Nature Trail winds through the city center next to the Papio Creek, so the great outdoors is in the revitalized inner city. Two 18-hole golf courses add to the lush landscape of greenways, lakes, and trails. These facilities are listed below:

  • Eagle Hills & Tara Hills - Golf the Hills
  • Strategic Air and Space Museum

    The Strategic Air, Tactical Air, and Air Defense Commands became the major combat commands of the USAF here on March 21, 1946 after WWII. The related museum opened in 1959, its 50th Anniversary celebrated in 2009. The lands around the facilities are maintained as sustainable wildlife and native plant preserves, as are most military installations in America.

  • Walnut Creek Lake Recreation Area: 96th & Highway 370, Papillion, NE 68046

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Strategic Air and Space Museum.B-36J.Russian MIG.
Strategic Air and Space Museum.
Strategic Air and Space Museum. | Source
B-36J. | Source
Russian MIG.
Russian MIG. | Source

Downtown Papillion Revitalization

Because of ongoing urban redevelopment in Papillion, the Downtown area now enjoys the Sumpter Amphi­theater of the perform­ing arts that offers free movies, concerts, wine tastings, and other events. This is in addition to the AAA baseball stadium and its farm team, the Omaha Storm Chasers.

All of these and more improvements draw additional new businesses and residents into the Downtown Papillion area as well as into the rest of the city. This makes the city an even more attractive residential community for nearby Omaha workers.

Papillion Days Celebration Video

Papillion Dog Breeders

The Papillion (or Papillon) canine breed was imported from Europe, in which its lineage can be traced back 700 years in France and Spain.

The face of the dog around the ears and side fur resembles a large butterfly, an attractive characteristic that helps breeders in the area sell dogs.

The insect is also honored by appearing on the City Seal of Papillion, Nebraska.

Centuries old, this particular canine breed is also called the Butterfly God, the Pap, and the Continental (the European Continent) Toy Spaniel.

Papillion Breeders in Nebraska

Check all breeders well for humane methods and standard care before purchasing a dog from them. Local breeders in this market include:

  • Papillion Breeders Meetup Group
  • Garden Gate Puppies
  • Happy Tails in Papillion NE
  • Marric Phlens and Papillions
  • S & L Papillions and Phalens at http://slpapillonslinks.html


Child Safety Promoted in the Community

The city government leaders promote child safety throughout the community, particularly on holidays such as Halloween. Therefore, city officials hold a thoughtful and fun-filled Halloween Safe Night and Fall Festival at the end of October each year. It is well supervised and the children have a lot of fun with their families.

The cost of admission is only one nonperishable food item for two hours of safe fun. The festival also provides free bags of treats, contests, prizes, games, and refreshments. This is truly a community event.

Sponsored by the Mayor's Youth Council, the local Neighborhood Watch, the Papillion-La Vista South Key Club, Papio Creek Church, the local Parks and Recreation Department, the Papillion Police, and Safe Kids of Sarpy and Cass Counties, the festival becomes more popular every year. It helps make the city a good place to live.

Encouraging Employment Projections to 2026

  1. Retail Sales Workers: Clerks and Supervisors
  2. Licensed Health and Medical Practitioners, including Registered Nurses
  3. Health Technologists and Technicians
  4. Motor Vehicle Operators, especially Truck Drivers
  5. Computer Occupations
  6. Business Operations Specialists
  7. Material Moving and Construction Trades Workers
  8. Food Preparation and Service jobs at all levels
  9. Financial Specialists
  10. Cashiers; Waiters and Waitresses and similar

Top Companies Listing the Most Jobs

  1. SAIC Sciences/IT: Member, NASA Commercial Crew
  2. University of Nebraska Medical Center and University of Nebraska at Omaha
  3. State of Nebraska: Government jobs
  4. Creighton University Medical Center
  5. ConAgra
  6. Methodist Health System
  7. General Dynamics
  8. Bergan Mercy Medical Center
  9. US Navy Recruiting District
  10. Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)

Higher Education for Well Paying Jobs

  1. Bellevue University: This school is just to the east of Papillion. It participates with the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Adult students may complete a degree related to high paying jobs in only 12 months. Online, graduate and undergraduate degree programs are available.
  2. Clarkson College
  3. College of Saint Mary
  4. Creighton University
  5. Grace University: This institution consistently offers advertised jobs, including community building and refugee resettlement as well as missions in Korea and others.
  6. Metropolitan Community College:
  7. Nebraska Christian College
  8. Nebraska Medical Center:
  9. Nebraska Wesleyan University
  10. Omaha School of Massage and HealthCare
  11. Peru State College is located on the local Air Force Base, along with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University‎.
  12. University of Nebraska at Omaha:
  13. Vatterott College


  • Papillion jobs advertised June 2017, July 2017, November 2018.
  • Money Magazine; 100 Best Places to Live. 2009 - 2016.
  • job projections. Retrieved July 27, 2017; February 17, 2022.
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment Rate in Sarpy County, NE [NESARP5URN], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, July 24, 2017.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Patty Inglish MS


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