Omaha, the seat of Douglas County, is the focus of a metropolitan statistical area that includes Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, and Washington counties in Nebraska and Pottawattamie County in Iowa. The city's development as a railroad center was augmented by the Union Stockyards and the meat-packing industry. Throughout its history Omaha has benefited from the civic commitment of its citizens. Father Edward J. Flanagan's establishment of Boys Town in the Omaha area brought national recognition to the plight of homeless children. Today, Omaha is an insurance and telecommunications center, home to the U.S. Air Force Strategic Command, and notable for its inexpensive housing, good schools, and relatively few social and environmental problems. The downtown is vibrant and growing and the business climate is thriving as recognized by Forbes magazine's 11th-place ranking in its "Best City for Business and Careers" list in 2004.
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