YouthBuild Mural Update: Week 3!

Week 2 of the YouthBuild mural ended with the painting getting some color, and that trend continued in week 3, with little areas of red starting to enter the scene. Here you can see some more color being brought into the picture as well as the rough outline of a new worker being added to the workspace.

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Proposed House budget threatens successful programs

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee introduced H.R. 1, an appropriations bill that will cut non-security discretionary spending by $81 billion. In the process, this bill would completely eliminate funding for YouthBuild, Projects With Industry, AmeriCorps, Partnership and other WIA services. Numerous other job training programs would be eliminated or drastically reduced. These proposed cuts are by no means a done deal, and that’s why we need your help to contact our Congressional representatives.

• YouthBuild has been one of Goodwill Omaha’s more successful and popular programs. Impoverished high school dropouts enroll in a rigorous, full-time regimen of academic classes and hands-on construction training. In the past year, 16 YouthBuild students in Omaha have earned their GED. Our graduates are much less likely to remain in poverty or end up in a court room. Investing in them now saves money later. Under the current budget proposal, YouthBuild would be eliminated.

• Projects With Industry bridges the gap between employers and workers with disabilities. PWI ensures that employers understand the unique challenges faced by people with physical or cognitive limitations, and we teach job-seekers about the expectations of businesses. Through employment, people with disabilities gain dignity and become less dependent on public assistance. Projects With Industry would also be eliminated.

• Partnership currently serves nearly 600 young people with barriers to employment and education in Douglas, Sarpy and Washington counties. Partnership case managers offer one-on-one personalized attention, with job readiness training, extensive help with educational and vocational placement and leadership opportunities. The program also provides assistance with tuition and supplies for occupational skills training or post-secondary education, as well as supportive services like bus tickets and supplies for educational or employment needs. Partnership is a WIA Youth program, and the entire WIA budget for youth, adults and dislocated workers would be eliminated.
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Saying “I love you” with help from Goodwill

Valentine’s Day is just once a year, but that doesn’t mean your love can’t last forever!

Say you really care with long stemmed, fresh cut wooden roses. When the unique rose scent hits your honey’s nose, love will surely hit her (or his!) heart.

They say “it’s the thought that counts,” and we’ve done the thinking for you.

Nothing says “I love you” like roses that won’t prick a finger or need to be watered. How’s that for thoughtful?

Goodwill’s wooden roses are sold by the dozen in a sleeve, a box, or arranged in a vase and are available at our eleven metro-area retail stores.

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YouthBuild Mural: Week 1

Omaha artist Watie White is working with our YouthBuild Omaha students to create a mural in the Youth Commons room in our Benson Park Plaza headquarters.

White began work on the mural this week, first sketching out the rough lines with charcoal. The photo below shows the skeleton of what will eventually be a full-color mural.

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Goodwill Fashion Challenge

Kris, a blogger and thrift enthusiast from California, loves to shop. Anyone can go to the store and spend a few bucks, but some take it to the next level and challenge themselves. With a budget of $365 for the whole year, Kris has committed to shopping only at Goodwill. All of Kris’ clothing, shoe, and accessory purchases will help support employment programs in her community.

Check out her Goodwill finds at

For your own thrifting adventures in the Omaha metro, see Sarah Lorsung Tvrdik’s tips on

Describing the Goodwill headquarters interior with the power of song

Marketing Coordinator Brent Koster walked into the marketing area today with a question: “If you had to describe the interior of this building with a style of music, what would it be?” We thought about it and did him one better — picking a song that represented the interior.

Neal: “The Perfect Kiss” by New Order. There is a cold, starkness to the colors and lines inside this building, but there is also an inviting beauty to it as well.

Erin: “Perpetuum Mobile” by Penguin Cafe Orchestra. It’s relaxing enough to get work done, but it is colorful and interesting to keep the creativity flowing. It also comes up on my Pandora stations when I listen at work, so it is a natural reminder. It repeats themes (like going to work every day) but has some variations (every day is different). Oh the symbolism.

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See “For Once In My Life” on area public television

“For Once in My Life,” the documentary about the Spirit of Goodwill Band in Miami, Florida, will be broadcast on public television over the next few days. For more information on the film and to view the trailer, visit

February 2
NET2 at 2:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and midnight
IPTV at 8:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

February 3
NET1 at 2:00 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.