Sector Training Expands Mission Focus at Goodwill Omaha

Sector Training Expands Mission Focus at Goodwill Omaha

Over the spring months of 2018, Goodwill Omaha developed a sector training program based on multiple community needs. The Mission Advancement team identified a nationally recognized retail training. After research was done it was determined that the training would be a good fit for the new program. At Goodwill we have a unique benefit of having access to our retail stores. This access provides real, on-the-job training in a real-life setting.

With the initial curriculum was built, we determined that a defined classroom space to practice these skills while teaching them would be very beneficial—in turn we created a mock retail store located in our headquarters building.

“We had a great trainer, Jen Driscoll. She developed the curriculum, trained and tested participants by working one-one-one with them daily. Jen made sure the program participants were successful and supported at all times” says Christine Aguilar, Director of Mission Training.

Our Employment Ready program assisted with the job readiness curriculum and our Business Solutions program worked with the participants during their training to identify employment goals. Employment Ready and Business Solutions worked together to achieve permanent employment opportunities for the participants.

“After reviewing the first cohort, we are very excited with the successful results and we plan to provide this training on an ongoing basis. We are also exploring other potential referral sources to expand the number of participants served” says Aguilar.  

Results

The first training class started on May 7, 2018 and concluded June 1, 2018. All four program participants successfully obtained certification. Two of the participants have secured full time employment. The other two participants are actively interviewing with local employers. Goodwill’s Business Solutions team continues to assist the participants with the employment and retention support.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to learn new skills and learn more about the operations of a retail store. I would one day like to own my own small retail store to provide fashionable items for women of all sizes,” said Michelle, one of the four program participants.

The new program is just one of many ways that Goodwill Omaha is proudly serving members of our community by changing lives through education, training, and work.

“We are looking forward to offering another class in the coming months,” says Aguilar.

Sector training opportunities are available to those in the community who desire training to increase their employability in order to secure employment.


Written By: Joshua Meyer

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Press Release – Young Adults Gain Valuable Job Training at Goodwill

For Immediate Release

July 2, 2018                           

 

Young Adults Gain Valuable Job Training at Goodwill

 

(Omaha, NE) On Tuesday, July 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., approximately 20-30 young adults in the STEP-UP Omaha! program will be visiting Goodwill, at 704 Gold Coast Drive in Papillion, for an educational morning coupled with volunteer service.

STEP-UP Omaha! provides jobs and paid internship opportunities young adults during the summer. Program participants gain valuable job training, work experience, vocational training, academic recovery and remediation, life skills training and community service opportunities. STEP-UP Omaha! is an initiative by the Empowerment Network and the City of Omaha in collaboration with community partners, including the Urban League of Nebraska.

During their time at Goodwill, participants will begin with an overview and introduction presented by Goodwill’s Employment Ready Manager, Megan Sharpe. Employment Ready, a program funded by Goodwill retail revenue, provides free one-on-one job readiness services to anyone who is unemployed or under-employed in the Omaha Metro and surrounding areas. Employment Ready can help any individual in need of employment assistance and provide referrals to additional community resources.

Megan will share information and best practices on first impressions when looking for work followed by a short question and answer session. Students will then break into smaller groups, one touring the sales floor and front area and the second group to tour the back room and processing area of Goodwill. Groups will then switch, allowing all young adults to get a full tour of Goodwill’s retail operations.

After the tours, the participants will have a group discussion on what jobs they found most interesting, as well as a chance to ask specific questions related to the jobs and processes they learned about. To conclude the experience, the young adults will participate in a volunteer opportunity where they will spend some time getting hands on experience in different roles within the Goodwill retail store.

The goal of this partnership is to provide students with an opportunity to witness how a Goodwill store operates as well as to learn what it takes to apply, interview and work successfully in a retail setting.

Available On-Site:

Megan Sharpe, Goodwill Employment Ready Manager and Vanetta Early, STEP-Up Omaha! Job Coach will be available for interviews. Students will also be available for video/photo opportunities with signed releases.

 

For Information Contact:

Ann Woodford

Marketing Manager

Goodwill Omaha

402-231-1919

[email protected]

To download the press release, please click here.

 

 

 

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Bikes for Block Party

Bikes for Block Party

We kicked off summer at the Ames Avenue Block Party on Friday, June 1 at Heartland Workforce Solutions, along with other community partners. This year was the fifth annual Ames Avenue Block Party—a community event created to promote Omaha 360’s Harmony Week. The event promoted peace, education, and a sense of community through diversity. Stakeholders, community agencies, and generous sponsors put forth efforts to reduce barriers and gave access to resources such as healthcare providers, financial institutions, workforce development agencies, and many other community agencies.

Block Party Partner

With close to 500 attendees, it was an evening filled with activities and opportunities to increase individual and family success. Goodwill Omaha was named one of the 2018 partner agencies. This partnership gave our Employment Ready team the opportunity to be heavily involved in the planning process. YouthBuild Omaha and Employment Ready had tables at the Ames Avenue Block Party and were able to assist individuals in the community and spread awareness of Goodwill’s mission.

Programs Working Together

Our retail stores supported the event by donating children’s bikes for a free raffle drawing that youth could enter the names in. Prior to the event, Work Experience Trainer, Steve Andrews and Work Experience students took time to make sure the bikes were in tip top shape before being raffled off. Students helped make sure the chains, brakes, and tires were all in proper working condition. Teamwork between our mission programs is essential at Goodwill. All of our programs assist each other in some way, working toward the advancement of our mission—changing lives and strengthening communities through education, training, and work.


JoshMeyer-MarketingSpecialist

Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Kick off the summer with the Ames Avenue Block Party!

Kick off the summer with the Ames Avenue Block Party – June 1

Bring your families and help us kick off summer at the Ames Avenue Block Party! Please join us on Friday, June 1, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Heartland Workforce Solutions at 5752 Ames Avenue.

The Ames Avenue Block Party is a community event created to promote Omaha 360’s Harmony Week. The event promotes peace, education and community by bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders to reduce barriers in accessing resources such as healthcare providers, financial institutions, workforce development agencies, as well as many other community agencies. These agencies will engage in positive activities with youth and families throughout the event.
Many thanks are in order to Boys Town and Heartland Workforce Solutions for leading and hosting the event efforts for the past five years. Year-over-year attendance has increased from 300 to over 1,000 participants.

Now in its fifth year, we are proud to announce our 2018 partner agencies: North Omaha Adolescent Health, Heart Ministries, the Hope Center for Kids and Goodwill Industries.

Join us and enjoy free activities such as bounce houses, balloon artists, face painting and a variety of other opportunities – provided by our generous sponsors: First National Bank, Bank of the West, United Health Care and Centris Federal Credit Union.

Our on-site food vendors and other in-kind sponsors include Godfathers Pizza, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Big Mama’s Kitchen, Hardy Coffee Company, Jimmy John’s, Chick-fil-a, Raising Cane’s, and Frito-Lay.

Stop by the Goodwill Industries table to enter a raffle! Ten children’s bikes will be raffled off during the event, you must be present to win. Also, stop by the YouthBuild Omaha table to learn more about one of Goodwill’s many mission programs and hear about all of the great service the AmeriCorps members are providing in our community.

The goal of the Ames Avenue Block Party is to decrease community violence while increasing overall individual and family success.

Thank you to all of the service providers in attendance who link families to necessary supports and services within the North Omaha community.

Timeline for the event:
4:00 Event Begins
4:30 Matching Knights Steppers Performance
4:45 Invocation Fr Boes, Pastor Portia Cavitt & Faith Leaders
5:45 Dance Contest (Ages 8 and up)
6:00 Dance Contest (Ages 8 and under)
6:30 Goodwill Bike Raffle
7:00 Event Closing

Ames Avenue Block Party Contact:
Melissa Steffes – Community Engagement Development Officer
Boys Town
Phone: 402-630-3862
[email protected]

To download the press release, please click here.

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Find Your Future Career Fair Hosted by Goodwill Omaha

 

Find Your Future Career Fair Hosted by Goodwill Omaha

On Thursday, May 10, Goodwill Omaha hosted a semi-annual community career fair with 37 local employers. The Find Your Future career fair took place at Goodwill Omaha’s headquarter location off 72nd and Ames in Omaha, NE. The semi-annual career fair was open to anyone looking for employment in the Omaha metro and surrounding communities.

Opportunities For Jobseekers

Find Your Future Career FairThe Find Your Future career fair gave jobseekers the opportunity to meet with a multitude of employers in one location. Jobseekers were instructed to bring a resume and dress to impress as many employers conducted on the spot interviews. Goodwill’s Employment Solutions services were also offered to the 205 jobseekers who attended the career fair. Employers such as Jimmy John’s, Nebraska Furniture Mart, and Lyman-Richey Corporation were all actively scheduling interviews. Employers seemed to be very happy with the career fair. Mutual of Omaha stated “We never miss this event.” and Lozier said “The flow of traffic was wonderful and we got a lot of great applicants.”

FYF Jobseekers“The event went very smoothly, it was great to see so many jobseekers connecting with employers and leaving with smiles on their faces. It was also great to see all of the employers meeting with candidates and taking the first step in filling their needs.” said Melanie Smith, Business Solutions Specialist. All proceeds from the career fair directly support sector training opportunities to the community at no cost to individuals.

Thank you to all of the employers who helped make the Find Your Future career fair a success. We would also like to thank our generous sponsors, Chesterman Company and DJ’s Dugout.  

What We Do

Employment Ready staff provided nearly 20,000 services to program participants in the past year. Services ranged from practice interviews, criminal history abatement, and employability skills before and after hire. Business Solutions is the second program related to this initiative. Business Solutions takes the same approach as Employment Ready but focuses those efforts on employers rather than job seekers. Our Business Solutions staff specializes in identifying the hiring needs in our city. They then match those needs with the people we serve.

FYF Jobseekers fill out applicationsEmployment Ready and Business Solutions staff work together seamlessly within Goodwill. Employment Ready values the job development efforts that Business Solutions maintains in the community. Such efforts allows them to concentrate on job readiness. At Goodwill we’ve designed these two programs so that they operate in a connected but independent way—providing the best services to people and businesses alike.

Showing Support

To help support our Employment Services programs, you can donate used goods to our retail stores or make monetary donations to fundraisers like Omaha Gives! Follow our Business Solutions and Employment Ready programs on Facebook for information and updates within the programs. Click here to follow our events page on Facebook for a current calendar of events and happenings throughout Goodwill Omaha. Click here to schedule your donation for Omaha Gives! Thank you for continuing to support our mission of changing lives and strengthening communities through education, training, and work.

 


JoshMeyer-MarketingSpecialist

Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Employment Ready Helps Students Find Business Casual Attire

Employment Ready Helps Students Find Business Casual Attire 

During the last week of March, Megan Sharpe, Goodwill Omaha’s Employment Ready Manager, received a phone call from Rebecca Dunn who teaches at Ralston High School. Dunn is currently teaching a Future Teacher Internship program. The class focuses on preparing students for future interviews and internships. Goodwill Omaha’s Employment Ready program was asked to partner with the Ralston High School class to provide assistance in how to choose appropriate attire for interviews and internships.

Teaming Up

Sharpe met with the class on April 16 to share how Employment Ready provides free one-on-one job readiness services to those unemployed or underemployed in the Omaha Metro.  Sharpe also spoke about proper business casual attire and how to find this clothing at our Goodwill locations. This partnership was an opportunity to educate the youth in the Ralston and Papillion community—by sharing Goodwill Omaha’s mission programs and how our retail stores support those programs.

The next day Sharpe met the Future Teacher Internship class at our Papillion retail store (84th and Giles).

Megan Sharpe Employment Ready Manager - Introduce Students to Papillion Store

Gathered in the front of the store, Sharpe took a moment to show some examples of proper business casual clothing. Among her examples was acceptable attire for a professional interview.

Example of Business Casual Denim

Megan also took time to remind students of the importance in making a great first impression during an interview. The students were encouraged to shop on their own. Sharpe and Dunn offered guidance and support—ensuring students were choosing appropriate business casual options.  

Business Casual Polka Dot Pants

Ralston Students Browsing

Students were able to find garments by category, size, and color in our Papillion retail store. This made it easy for them to build outfits that paired well with their personalities.

Ralston Male Students Shown Examples of Business Casual Shirts

Ralston Students Share Finds

Interview Ready

Finally, all 17 of the Future Teacher Internship students walked away with business casual outfits for their upcoming interviews.

Ralston Student Checks Out

Each student was given a $20 gift card, which was provided by both Ralston High and Goodwill Omaha. This gave students the ability to find a full outfit. Also showing them how beneficial shopping at Goodwill is while on a tight budget. The students enjoyed the hunt for unique and trendy items they may not have normally found at other retailers. While using the provided gift cards, students were educated on how donating and shopping at Goodwill Omaha supports our mission programs such as Employment Ready.

Ralston Students All Found Outfits


JoshMeyer-MarketingSpecialist

Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Goodwill Industries Celebrates 115 Years of Changing Lives

Goodwill Industries Celebrates 115 Years of Changing Lives

During the week of May 6, 2018 we will be celebrating Goodwill Industries Week—along with 115 years of building better futures and changing lives. Goodwill Industries Week was first celebrated in May of 1951. It is a way to encourage local Goodwill organizations to educate their communities about their missions. At Goodwill Omaha our mission is to change lives through education, training, and work—by serving individuals and businesses in eastern Nebraska and southwestern Iowa.

Hand-Up Not a Hand Out 

In 1902 Reverend Edgar J. Helms went from door to door in Boston asking not for money, but for clothing in need of repair. Helms employed people facing challenges by having them mend the clothes for a daily wage. By selling those clothes back to the community, Goodwill’s mission was born. Helms believed in giving people a chance, not charity. He also believed there is more dignity in receiving a hand-up, not a hand-out. When people learn the skills to earn their own pay checks they have the power to transform lives and communities. Goodwill has grown from humble origins into an international non-profit organization. We provide employment placement, job training services and other important services to millions of people.

Goodwill Omaha’s Programs and Services

While programs and services have changed over the years, our mission of changing lives through education, training, and work has stayed true. Below are programs and services Goodwill Omaha currently provides.

  • Ability One – Provides part-time job opportunities for individuals with disabilities in a supportive and integrated work environment at several federal properties.
  • Business Solutions – Meets the needs of local employers by connecting them with quality applicants and providing ongoing support.
  • Employment Ready – Provides free one-on-one job readiness services to anyone who is unemployed or under-employed in the Omaha metro, Council Bluffs, or Fremont areas.
  • Hire Nebraska – Puts Nebraskans to work as they transition from public assistance to life-changing employment.
  • Work Experience – Offers high school special education students, who are nearing completion of high school education, an opportunity to gain exposure to a work situation in a supportive environment.
  • Volunteer & Community Service –  We thrive on the support of our community and those who volunteer their time. Providing the opportunity to complete approved court ordered hours of service is another way we support those in our community.
  • YouthBuild Omaha – A national education, leadership, development, and occupational skill-training program for disadvantaged young adults. YouthBuild is a proud partner of the American Job Center Network.

In 2017, Goodwill Omaha served 1,797 people through our mission programs. Hosting a total of 35 hiring events—230 jobs were found by Goodwill participants. The average hourly wage of Goodwill participants placed in jobs was $12.16. Through our programs and services, we are able to continue our mission of changing lives through education, training, and work. We provide free tours to the public for a behind the scenes look at our organization, by appointment. For contact information and more details about our programs and services, click here.

Involved in Goodwill

Being involved in our community is a key component to what makes our mission programs and services so impactful. You can become involved with Goodwill Omaha through the various events we host and participate in. To find out more about our upcoming events, click here. You can also support our life-changing mission by shopping and donating at your local Goodwill retail location. When you purchase items from Goodwill, those dollars go directly to the support needs of our programs and services. Click here to view a listing of our locations.


JoshMeyer-MarketingSpecialist

Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Penny-Pinching for the Perfect DIY Prom Dress

Penny-Pinching for the Perfect DIY Prom Dress

Finding the perfect dress for prom has become taxing. With so many fits, colors, and styles to choose from—it can be difficult to know where to start looking. Oh yeah, lets not forget about that price tag either. As a result, you may not always be satisfied with the hunt of that perfect prom dress. So why not create your own? Learn how to re-purpose a dress into a DIY creation and restore the fun in your prom experience.

What’s in this prom season?

After doing some research, we have put together a list of what you might find to be in style this prom season.

  • Lace Detail and Overlay
  • Pastel Colors
  • Ultra Violet
  • Off the Shoulder
  • High Slits
  • Plunging Necklines
  • Two-Piece Dresses
  • Halter Tops
  • Chiffon

While these may be great suggestions for this season. Don’t be afraid to express yourself and get creative. Think outside the box.

Where to find your dress.

Try Goodwill, no seriously, you would be amazed at the selection of dresses most Goodwill stores have. Frequently visiting your favorite Goodwill retail location will give you an advantage as new product comes in daily. If you have never shopped at a Goodwill before, you’ll probably want to start. You can save your pretty pennies and score some awesome finds. While there are DIY-ers that create their own prom dresses, we suggest repurposing instead of starting from scratch. This will give you a head start in creating your masterpiece. Need some inspiration? Click here to find a gallery of DIY prom dress ideas.

Creating your perfect prom dress.

You may find a dress you like, but may not be quite head over heels for. There’s a solution for that! Do you have sewing skills? If not, try finding a friend who can help you in that area. Adding different materials such as lace and chiffon can create layers and add to the wow factor of your dress. It’s a great way to get the look you are going for without too much work. Not a lover of lace or chiffon? It can be just as easy to remove. You can also use crystals to create a dress that captures and reflects light in all the right places.

You’ll be able to find those supplies at your local fabric or craft store such as: Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. If you are up for a challenge, Wendy gives you a great tutorial on making a custom chiffon dress. You may also want to check out her blog, With Wendy, for more amazing DIY ideas.

Finding the right fit.

If you fall in love with a dress that isn’t your size and needs some updating, don’t fret. Be open to the idea of having your dress tailored. You can expand your selection by doing so. Finding a good tailor may seem tough, but there are plenty of tailors out there who specialize in custom fits. Scheduling a fitting with your tailor before the work begins is also important. Your fitting will give you the opportunity to communicate your vision and build a relationship with your tailor of choice.

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. You might be surprised at what your tailor can do. Communication is key. You want to give your tailor as much direction as possible. As a result of having a custom fit, you can make a statement with your now one-of-a-kind dress that looks and feels custom made just for you. In the blog post What Every Woman Should Know About Looking Better in Clothes Zac Posen says “The right tailoring can make any garment work for any body”. You can follow Zac on twitter for more inspiration.

Share your creation.

We encourage you to share your creations with us! Use the hashtag #PromAtGoodwill if you found your dress, or any part of your ensemble at one our Goodwill Omaha locations. Be sure to tag us at @goodwillomaha for a chance to be featured on our social media pages. At Goodwill, our mission is to change lives and strengthen communities through education, training, and work. When you shop with Goodwill Omaha you are directly supporting our programs and employment services here in our community.


Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Raise Some Dough To Help Put People To Work

Join Goodwill as we visit Panera Bread to raise some dough for Employment Solutions! Employment Solutions programs help people find work!

Who: Everyone is invited!

What: An opportunity to dine at Panera Bread Westroads. Where 20% of your purchase will go back to Goodwill’s Employment Solutions programs.

When: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm

Where: Panera Bread – 10000 California Street, East side of Westroads Mall

Why: To support the Employment Solutions programs within Goodwill, where our mission is to change lives and strengthen communities through education, training and work.

How: Visit the Panera location listed above on April 18, 2018 between 4:00pm and 8:00pm. Purchase your favorite meal and show the below flyer. 20% of your purchase will then be donated back to support Goodwill’s mission.

Goodwill Omaha-Panera Fundraiser-Flyer

More About Employment Solutions

We offer a variety of programs that support our mission in different ways, but Employment Solutions provides the capability to do even more.

The concept behind Employment Solutions is simple.  We want to be able to serve anyone in our community, regardless of qualifying criteria, and help them prepare for and find meaningful employment. Therefore anyone in need of employment assistance in the Omaha Metro area can come to Goodwill and receive employment assistance.

Employment Ready staff provided nearly 20,000 services to program participants in the past year- ranging from practice interviews, to criminal history abatement, to employability skills before and after hire.

Business Solutions is the second program related to this initiative. Business Solutions takes the same approach as Employment Ready, but focuses those efforts on employers, rather than job seekers. Our Business Solutions staff specializes in identifying the hiring needs in our city, and matching those needs with the people we serve.

Employment Ready and Business Solutions staff work together seamlessly within Goodwill.  Employment Ready values the job development efforts that Business Solutions maintains in the community, as it allows them to concentrate on job readiness.  Business Solutions needs work-ready people to fill employer needs.  We’ve designed these two programs so that they operate in a connected but independent way—providing the best services to people and businesses alike.

Follow our Business Solutions and Employment Ready programs on Facebook for information and updates within the programs. Click here to follow our events page on Facebook for a current calendar of events and happenings throughout Goodwill Omaha.

To date, we’ve served more than 1,500 people through this program, and helped fill 500 jobs for area employers.

We hope you will join us on April 18.

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6 Tips for Creating a Resume

What defines a good resume has changed over the years; however, the goal of a resume has stayed true—get your foot in the door and bring attention to your name. Here are 6 tips on how you can create a resume that will captivate your future employer and display all you have to offer in a simple yet impactful way.

Tip 1 – Clear & Concise

A good resume is clear, concise (often only one page long) and to the point. List your education, prior work experience, and skill set. Starting your resume in a Word document can make it easy to modify throughout your career. You’ve probably put in some time editing and proofreading your resume, if you haven’t you will want to do so. We’ve found the Big Interview website to be informative when creating your resume— specifically the blog post Creating Really Good Resumes.

Tip 2 – Name

Prominently display your name and contact information at the top of the page. Make sure to align your name on the center of the page so it stands out from the rest of your resume. You will want to give clear direction on how a hiring manager can connect with you to set up an interview after viewing your resume.

Tip 3 – Objective

Your objective may not always be needed. An objective gives you an opportunity to relate what you have to offer your potential employer and how they will benefit by hiring you. A potential employer should be able to find your objective easily below your name and personal information.

Tip 4 – Formatting Information

Formatting your information with bullet points is a good way to maintain an easy-to-read resume. Start with your education, list diplomas or degrees earned. Then provide the experience you have gained at your previous positions. This will give you the opportunity to display your longevity. If longevity is not applicable, be sure to list all of your previous employment to showcase your experience in the workforce. Finally, listing your skills and abilities is one more way to showcase what you have to offer your potential employer.

Tip 5 – Readability

Font style and size can make all the difference in how your resume is perceived. Keeping your font style and size the same throughout the body of your resume will allow for minimal distractions and make it easy to skim through. Even spacing and clean lines is key when choosing a font for your resume. Make sure your font size is readable while allowing the information to fit on one page. To get the employers attentions, your name should be a different font and larger in size.
Looking for tips on what fonts to use in your resume? Check out this article by Cleverism.

Tip 6 – Resources

Use your resources. There is help and advice online for you to use to get your resume in tip top shape. If you are not familiar with Microsoft or formatting a document for a resume, we (Goodwill Omaha) are now offering an Introduction to Microsoft Word course hosted by TriO Programs.  Another helpful website for job tasks, skills, and much more is  O*NET OnLine. 

If you are unemployed or underemployed our Employment Ready and Business Solutions staff are here to assist you.
Follow the links above to learn more about those programs and how they can help you land
your next job.

Stay up-to-date on the latest hiring events and other employment assistance opportunities by following them on Facebook: Employment Ready Powered by Goodwill and Business Solutions by Goodwill.

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