The September issue of The Clothes Line is now ready to download!

In this month’s issue:

  • Learn all about the opening of our new store in Blair…
  • Meet our most recent Employee of the Month…
  • See how our Work Experience program is growing, including the addition of three new trainers…
  • Look back on the amazing Summer Youth Employment program……
  • Learn about one of our employees’ incredible path to becoming a triathlete…
  • Find out all of the ways to get involved with Goodwill in the community…
  • Another exciting word search…
  • Birthdays, anniversaries and new hires…
  • …and more!

Visit our Publications page to download your copy today!

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A Summer of Success: Looking back on the 2012 Summer Youth Employment Program

Kenneth Cotton’s summer job gave him valuable insight into his possible career paths.

Like many college freshmen going into political science, Kenneth Cotton had ideas and ambition, but he didn’t have a lot of experience in the world of policy or business. But now, after a summer with the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce, Kenneth finds himself with a first-hand understanding of how policy affects the business community — experience that will directly benefit him as he pursues his career path.

Kenneth is one of 56 young people who took part in the Partnership Summer Youth Program. Participants held summer jobs at 26 worksites across the metro, wrapping up earlier in August.

Kenneth will be studying political science at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, so Career Specialist Byron Olsen tried to find him a politically related position. Program funds can’t be used for political campaigns, understandably, so Olsen found him a position with the Sarpy County Chamber.

Kenneth was able to help with what he described as “normal office things,” plus outreach functions like ribbon cuttings and helping with a golf tournament sponsored by the Chamber. But what he really enjoyed were the eye-opening experiences of meeting the businesses the Chamber works with.

“Just about every single day, one of the staff would go out to check up on one of the member businesses, and I got to follow them to those meetings,” he said. “I got to meet all kinds of people and really connect with different parts of the business community.”
Continue reading

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The 2012 Paralympics begin tomorrow! (and watch the promo – it’s amazing)

We can’t embed the video due to international rights restrictions, but we highly recommend you head to YouTube to watch the promo for the 2012 Paralympics, which run from August 29th to September 9th in London.

As Jack Moore at Buzzfeed said, “If this Paralympics ad doesn’t inspire you, you probably don’t have a pulse.”

The UK’s Channel 4 will be broadcasting the Paralympics in full — estimated to be near 400 hours of coverage, according to the PBS Mediashift blog. NBC has the rights to the broadcast in America, but will only be showing five and a half hours of the games total. As Mediashift reports,

NBC is not broadcasting any Paralympic events to U.S. audiences except for a highlights show on September 16 from 2 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Network is showing the Paralympics for the first time. But the coverage is limited to four, hour-long programs on September 4, 5, 6 and 11, according to Adam Freifeld, vice president of communications for NBC Sports Group, in an email to me.

The website for Channel 4’s Paralympics broadcast is at, though most people reading this blog are likely to find the content blocked, again due to international rights restrictions. You can follow their coverage on Twitter at @C4Paralympics, and you can keep up with the U.S. team at @USParalympics.

But in the meantime — seriously — go watch the promotional clip. It’s great.

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This week’s READY workshops: Time Management, Customer Service Relationships and Conflict Resolution

Every week, Goodwill Omaha presents free READY workshops designed to enhance your job readiness skills. The workshops are free and open to the public, and they are held from 1:00pm – 3:00pm at the Workforce Solutions Center, 2421 N. 24th St. (24th & Lake) in Omaha. To sign up, call 402-231-1978.

Here’s what we have coming up this week:

Monday August 27, 2012 – Time Management
Learn how to be responsible for deciding how much time to dedicate to different tasks to maximize your efficiency and productivity. Time management doesn’t just include your work tasks — learning good time management skills can help you maximize your personal time too!

Tuesday August 28, 2012 – Customer Service Relationships
No matter what your job, customer service is going to come in to play at some point. Good customer service skills enhance the relationships between you and your customers, you and your coworkers and you and your superiors. In some way, we’re all serving somebody else at our jobs. When you can maximize this most important of soft skills, you can make the workplace more satisfying for everyone!

Thursday August 30, 2012 – Conflict Resolution
We all encounter conflict at some point — what matters is how we respond to it. Are you someone who blows up and unleashes, or are you someone who can step back, examine the situation, and find a productive solution? Good conflict resolution skills determine whether an incident will be harmful or beneficial to your workplace, and it’s never too late to prepare yourself for when disagreement inevitably arises.

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Thanking Steve for his hard work

Children at the Lincoln Denney Federal Building’s day care facilities brightened the day of one of our AbilityOne employees earlier this month when they made cards to thank Custodian Steve Hennessy for always doing such a great job of cleaning their classrooms.

As one of the children wrote, “Thank you, Steve, for all that you do for us! We greatly appreciate it!”

Steve is a great example of how the AbilityOne program can help people with disabilities achieve confidence and self-sufficiency through the power of work.

“Steve truly loves his job, and the tenants all adore him,” said Custodial Contract Manager Cyndi Hartman. “Goodwill and his tenants have become his daytime family, and he clearly is proud to work for our company.”

Steve has been working for Goodwill since 1979. He grew up in a congregate care facility, and for many years didn’t even realize he had a brother and sister. He moved into a group home at 18 and then he and a friend moved into an apartment where he still lives today. In 1983, he was voted the Most Inspirational Athlete at the Nebraska Special Olympics.

There’s a reason Goodwill’s workforce development Federal contracts are synonymous with amazing work and exceptional customer service — it’s because of people like Steve. Thanks for all you do, Steve! We’re honored to be a part of your “daytime family.”

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The “little-known cleverness” in the Goodwill logo posted an article earlier this week on 20 Big Brands with Little-Known Cleverness in their Logos and Goodwill’s iconic “Smiling G” logo is included.

Boston-based designer Joseph Selame created the logo in the 1960s, using the lower-case g in “goodwill” as the basis for the smiley face, representing the Goodwill name and “…the smiles that come from helping people help themselves.”

Many on the list overlap with DivineCaroline’s 15 famous logos with hidden images, which we wrote about last summer, but DesignFestival focuses on how the hidden images add meaning to the logo, expressing more about the brand than just the name.

Read the full article at

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New Michael J. Fox sitcom to bring life with a disability to primetime

The fall 2013 television season is still more than a year away, but NBC has announced that they’ve acquired the rights to a new sitcom starring Michael J. Fox. Beyond the newsworthiness of Fox returning to the network that made him famous is that Fox’s life and challenges with Parkinson’s disease will be a part of the show.

NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said this unique angle is part of what sold the network. “From the moment we met with Michael to hear his unique point of view about this new show, we were completely captivated and on board,” he said.

Alyssa Rosenburg, the culture writer for, has raised concerns about whether Fox’s disability will be used to educate audiences on what life is actually like for someone in that situation — providing some unique social commentary for a network sitcom — or if it’ll simply be used as a light-hearted plot device.

If this is a Hollywood version of chronic illness where it’s played for laughs, and no one every exceeds the amount of treatment covered by their insurance, and everyone’s employer is beautifully accommodating all the time, that may be a vision of a world I’d like to live in, but it’ll be a quick way to flatten a lot of the chances for humor and drama out of the show. Legit, FX’s upcoming show about a comedian and his friend, who uses a motorized wheelchair, is funny and emotionally affecting precisely because it doesn’t try to make everything seem nice or easy. It’d be revelatory to have some of that attitude on network television.

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This week’s READY workshops: Self Advocacy, Money Management and Stress / Anger Management

Every week, Goodwill Omaha presents free READY workshops designed to enhance your job readiness skills. The workshops are free and open to the public, and they are held from 1:00pm – 3:00pm at the Workforce Solutions Center, 2421 N. 24th St. (24th & Lake) in Omaha. To sign up, call 402-231-1978.

Here’s what we have coming up this week:

Monday August 20, 2012 – Self Advocacy
Self Advocacy is about standing up for yourself, looking out for your own needs, finding people and resources that are positive and supportive, and taking steps to make sure that your own goals are met. Learn how to recognize those needs so you can communicate and take action accordingly!

Tuesday August 21, 2012 – Money Management
What’s the fun in earning a paycheck if you can’t go spend it, right? Well it’s not that simple. We need to make sure we manage our money so that our bills are paid and needs are met and our future is considered. And then, once you’ve figured out how to be responsible with your money, spending a little on your own fun feels that much better.

Thursday August 23, 2012 – Stress/Anger Management
We all endure stress. It’s a natural part of life. But how we let that stress affect our lives is up to us. Acting out and letting stress affect how you interact with others in the workplace — not to mention your ability to do your own job — can be a major detriment to your continued employment. Learn techniques for managing stress and anger so that you don’t let your frustrations get in your way.

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It’s Grand Opening Weekend at our new Blair store!

The ribbon is cut and the doors are open at our new Blair store, located just north of the intersection of US-75 and US-30. Numerous community members, partners and Goodwill employees came out this morning to take part in the ribbon cutting ceremony. Store Manager Josh Meyer did the honors, after which more than a hundred people proceeded inside to shop.

We’ll be continuing the festivities through Saturday, with refreshments, raffles and balloons — not to mention the excitement of bringing a brand new store into the community! Goodwill’s Blair store brings with it — among other things — an expansion of our Work Experience program, which gives high school students with disabilities an opportunity to gain exposure to real work settings. So we are proud to bring our mission of changing lives and strengthening communities through education, training and work to the people of Blair.

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Join us for our Blair store’s grand opening!

Goodwill has come to Blair!

Come on out to 1364 Washington Street (at the intersection of US-75 and US-30) this Friday and Saturday, August 17 and 18, to check out our newest store! We’ll have raffles and prizes, treats and other fun.

We’re very excited about this new store. In addition to giving eastern Nebraskans another place to find quality gently used merchandise, our growth into Blair also includes an expansion of our mission. For example, our Blair store will house another location for our Work Experience Program, which gives local high school students with disabilities an opportunity to gain exposure to work settings in a safe and supportive environment.

So come on out and see what we’re all about! And thanks for helping support our mission of changing lives and strengthening communities through education, training and work!

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