Listen in as Work Experience student Noah Wegener and Work Experience Coordinator Sam Comfort talk about Noah’s experience looking for treasures, as well as other employment skills gained while working at Goodwill.
Huge thanks to The Bottom Line with Mike’l Sever for providing this opportunity to share Noah’s story.
OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) – Any picker will tell you, it’s all about the thrill of the search. For Omaha teenager Noah Wegener, who suffers from cerebral palsy, it can be hard to navigate the old barns and crowded shops, but its not slowing him down.
Thanks to the Goodwill work experience program, Wegener has the opportunity to work independently to hone his craft.
He says the program is helping him get a head start to what he wants to do, open his own antique shop or business.
“It’s not like a normal day job, it’s different, it’s unique,” Wegener said. “It’s the research and the hunt, ‘like what am I going to find today in this barn,’ it’s never the same, it’s always like a treasure hunt you could say.”
On Monday, January 22, 2018, all Goodwill stores located the Omaha metro and surrounding areas will be closing at 7:00 p.m. due to inclement weather. Please stay safe and warm. Thank you for supporting Goodwill!
Stay tuned as this blog post will serve as a platform for detailed information in the occasion that a Goodwill location will be closed or have a delayed start due to inclement weather. We will also post on our social media channels as it happens. Thanks for supporting Goodwill!
Goodwill is proud to administer the YouthBuild Omaha program in partnership with AmeriCorps. YouthBuild supports young adults as they conduct community service while pursuing their GED. Participants engage in construction skills training and have the opportunity to receive various professional certifications as they complete their community service requirements.
Members of this year’s YouthBuild class have being busy working to fulfill their AmeriCorps-required community service hours. Since joining the class this fall, the last few months have presented some opportunities outside the usual construction training volunteer opportunities.
In October several participants helped with Goodwill’s first Halloween Trunk-or-Treat community event. Those who participated did an excellent job of making the guests feel welcome while handing out Halloween candy to trick-or-treaters.
In November a group of YouthBuild participants assisted Heartland Hope Mission assembling and distributing Thanksgiving gift baskets. They were directed to gather donated food items from around the facility and prepare the basket. The volunteers were friendly and enjoyed interacting with the clients as they helped them to their vehicles.
Family Housing Advisory hosted various volunteer opportunities throughout December. YouthBuild decorated their Lake Point Center for the annual Christmas in the Village event. Keep Omaha Beautiful provided supplies for participants to clean up the streets before and after the event. They also stuffed envelopes for community members to learn about potential upcoming changes to the tax code.
It has become tradition for YouthBuild to model ugly holiday sweaters on The Morning Blend talk show. Several participants took the opportunity to strut their stuff for the camera. They enjoyed getting a behind-the-scenes look at the news studio and interacting with the hosts on air.
Through these special projects, daily GED classes and construction skills training, participants show professionalism and a dedication to developing themselves while helping their community. The YouthBuild team looks forward to what is to come in 2018!
Halloween comes alive at Goodwill! Check out the Goodwill team showcasing costumes on the Morning Blend. We had a blast searching Goodwill stores to create several individual and group costumes for all ages. Whether you’re looking for a fresh costume idea or just need the finishing touches for your creation, Goodwill is the place to find it! Stop in today, there’s still time to create that perfect Halloween costume at Goodwill. Remember, when you shop at Goodwill you are supporting our job readiness programs that are helping people from all over the community to achieve their employment goals.
Today Goodwill Industries in partnership with the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors hosted a special ribbon cutting and mayoral proclamation to celebrate the month of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).
The event was held at the Omni Center in Council Bluffs and brought together more than 100 community members to celebrate NDEAM. High school students from Goodwill’s Work Experience program served refreshments as guests gathered for the presentation.
The program began with introductions from the Council Bluff’s Ambassadors through the Chamber of Commerce. Dozens of Ambassadors representing a wide variety of businesses and organizations stood in support of the proclamation.
Council Bluffs Mayor, Matt Walsh thanked the crowd for their support of NDEAM. Mayor Walsh emphasized the importance of work in defining oneself. Citizens with disabilities also need the opportunity to work and contribute their skills to the community.
Mayor Walsh presented the official proclamation affirming Council Bluff’s commitment to building an inclusive community for all citizens. The city recognizes the month of October as an opportunity to raise awareness on disability issues throughout the community.
Next Dan Koenig, representing the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, explained the Chamber’s responsibility to educate businesses about the importance of inclusive hiring practices. He highlighted the impact of programs like Work Experience at Goodwill, which provides high school students with disabilities the opportunity to develop employment skills in a supportive environment.
Brad Krause, owner of Grease Monkey in Council Bluffs spoke about his experience working with representatives from Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation to employ individuals with disabilities. He explained the positive impact that disabled employees have had on his business.
Goodwill Work Experience participant, Noah Wegener spoke about the importance of work in his life. This is Noah’s third year in the Work Experience Program and he’s learned many tips to being successful on the job; including hard work, being responsible and being nice to your boss. Noah is proud to be able to work and contribute to his household. He looks forward to the future and gaining more independence as he works toward his goals.
Goodwill is proud to bring together many community members committed to bringing awareness to issues for employees with disabilities. Visit our interactive calendar HERE for more information and events to celebrate NDEAM. Check out our Facebook to view a video from this morning’s event (click the Videos tab on our Facebook page).
Goodwill’s YouthBuild Omaha program was able to marvel at one of the biggest projects that they had finished throughout the year in the program yesterday.
For over a month, YouthBuild participants had been working on a children’s playhouse called Kid Cafe. The project was a partnership between YouthBuild, The Hope Center for Kids and Builders of the Future. YouthBuild members got the chance to hang out with some of the kids at The Hope Center and were able to talk about the team work that was put in to making the project happen. The toy house was filled with a kids’ kitchen set and an array of toy food items and ingredients.
YouthBuild Omaha is a program for young adults ages 16 to 24 years who have struggled with school, many not having a high school diploma, and are looking to make a positive change in their lives. The YouthBuild program combines classroom learning and hands-on construction experience. Our goal is to empower YouthBuild participants to become self-sufficient.