Meet Victoria – YouthBuild AmeriCorps

Victoria Irby

Meet Victoria! She is an aspiring artist with a very creative personality. She is also a member of Goodwill’s YouthBuild AmeriCorps Program. YouthBuild is a national educational, leadership, development and occupational skill-training program for young adults. It offers paid construction training, paid education and learning, leadership training, and ongoing support after graduation to help build leaders in the community through service projects.

YouthBuild serves young adults, ages 16 to 24, who are underemployed or do not have a high school diploma, are interested in learning construction and helping to build/repair homes for low-income families, and are willing to commit to nine months of training and development. Victoria has been in the program for approximately six months and has come a long way. She is bettering herself by showing up, making herself available and being willing to learn every day as part of the program.

Before Goodwill, Victoria was staying at home most days dreading getting out of bed. It was hard for her to find the motivation she needed to thrive. She had no structure in place to see the value in her efforts to become the person she wanted to be. Victoria lacked the support to overcome difficult times. Without hope, fear of consequences is absent and it is something that Victoria frequently struggled with.

She learned about Goodwill’s services after she decided to go back to school. After about a year at Metropolitan Community College, she felt it was too complicated for her and was ready for something different. While spending time at the Omaha Public Schools Teacher Administration Center (TAC) building, she read about Goodwill’s YouthBuild AmeriCorps program.
Victoria said lack of motivation was one of the biggest obstacles to finding a job, becoming independent, and becoming the person she envisioned. Before joining YouthBuild AmeriCorps, she was distant from everyone and everything. Victoria stated, “I felt like I didn’t have a purpose. I would probably be dead or doing a lot of unhealthy stuff if it wasn’t for some of the training and support that Goodwill has provided.”

According to Victoria, the training that YouthBuild provides helped her learn the value of patience and not to doubt herself. Since joining the program her social skills have improved, she believes in herself and has the support in place to help fulfill her dreams. She is recognizing the changes in her behavior and can more easily identify her feelings and talk more openly with a level of trust and understanding that did not exist before. It’s also easier for her to identify things she enjoys doing. “I think more before speaking and I care about the feelings and opinions of others,” said Victoria. She is gaining valuable insight and knowledge to help better understand the nuances and intricacies of interpersonal communication and life.

 

Chinese Checkers game board Victoria made

Victoria’s passion for art and creativity will be incredible assets as she continues her journey to find her place in the world. She loves to listen to old school music, like Isaac Hayes and the Isley Brothers. Her taste in music is not surprising when you consider her gentle, calm and relaxed demeanor. Outside of YouthBuild AmeriCorps, Victoria enjoys dancing and doing math (not at the same time, of course), watching her favorite movie, Norbit, and sipping on a nice glass of her favorite beverage, apple juice. Victoria’s favorite holiday is Halloween and she dressed up as Michael Myers last year.

We are very proud of and happy for Victoria and the strides she has made to better herself both personally and professionally. She has embraced this opportunity and we are excited to see more of the beautiful things she will create! The YouthBuild AmeriCorps program has helped her come into her own and we are privileged to help share in her journey as she continues to learn about all the great things she is capable of.

Victoria’s multi-purpose décor creation

For more information regarding Goodwill’s services and programs, please visit https://www.goodwillomaha.org/employment-services/ or call us at (402) 341 – 4609.
If you or anyone you know could benefit from the YouthBuild AmeriCorps Program, please contact:
Norman Barnes – YouthBuild Manager
Goodwill Industries
4805 N. 72nd St., Omaha, NE 68134
Phone: (402) 522-7231
[email protected]

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Press Release – U.S. Department of Labor Awards $85 Million in YouthBuild Grants

GOODWILL OMAHA RECEIVES $895,437 GRANT FROM U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
FOR YOUTHBUILD AMERICORPS PROGRAM

 (Omaha, NE, January 31, 2019) – The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) YouthBuild program has a network of more than 200 urban and rural YouthBuild programs in 46 states. On January 31, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that $85 million in grants have been awarded to 81 YouthBuild programs in 32 states. The grants range from approximately $700,000 to $1.1 million. DOL informed Goodwill Omaha that its YouthBuild AmeriCorps was awarded $895,437 to fund the program for two years in 2019 and 2020.

YouthBuild is an education and training program with a strong pre-apprenticeship component that helps at-risk youth complete high school or state equivalency degree programs. While doing so, participants earn industry-recognized credentials for in-demand occupations, and undergo training to build housing for low-income or homeless individuals and families in their communities.

“The YouthBuild program provides invaluable opportunities for young adults in our community to achieve their employment, education and service goals.  We are extremely proud to be able to administer this program once again, in partnership with AmeriCorps,” said Tobi Mathouser, Goodwill’s Director of Mission Advancement.

The grants awarded this year mark a significant expansion of YouthBuild’s Construction Plus model which allows grantees to offer training in locally in-demand industries beyond construction in fields such as healthcare, information technology, hospitality and retail services, and logistics. To learn about the U.S Department of Labor YouthBuild program, please visit www.doleta.gov/youth_services/youthbuild.cfm.

Goodwill Omaha’s YouthBuild AmeriCorps program is a nine-month educational, leadership, development and occupational skill-training program for disadvantaged young adults. Member’s ages range between 16 to 24 and are underemployed and do not have a high school diploma. The Monday through Friday program runs from 9:00 am to 4:00 p.m. with time split between classroom instruction and hands-on construction work. YouthBuild AmeriCorps is also a proud partner of the American Job Center network.

“I’m excited to further Goodwill’s mission by providing vital services to the young people we work with in our community,” said Norman Barnes, Goodwill’s YouthBuild AmeriCorps Manager.

YouthBuild AmeriCorps four areas of focus are paid construction training and education, leadership training, case management and follow-up services.

For more information, please contact Norman Barnes, YouthBuild AmeriCorps Manager:
Goodwill Industries – 4805 N. 72nd Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68134
Phone: (402) 522-7231 or [email protected]

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Press Release – United Way of the Midlands Awards $37,578 to Fund YouthBuild Omaha

 

For Immediate Release                                   

July 17, 2018

United Way of the Midlands Awards $37,578 to Goodwill Industries, Inc. Grant to Fund YouthBuild Omaha

(Omaha, NE) Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving Eastern Nebraska & Southwest Iowa is pleased to announce it was recently awarded a $37,578 grant from United Way of the Midlands. Thanks to the generosity of the United Way donors, Goodwill’s YouthBuild Omaha Program is able to provide another year of intensive vocational and life skills training to individuals in our community. 

YouthBuild Omaha is a program for young adults, ages 16 to 24, who have struggled with school.  Many of these young people do not have a high school diploma, and are looking to make a positive change in their lives.  YouthBuild Omaha’s mission is to equip young people with the tools to make healthy decisions.  The program combines classroom learning and hands-on construction experience. YouthBuild Omaha members spend half their day in the classroom preparing to take their GED tests, and the other half working with local non-profits that build and renovate homes, learning construction skills and giving back to their community.

By integrating academic, vocational and leadership activities, YouthBuild Omaha offers a unique project-based learning model for members. The learning experience is individualized, intensive and designed to replicate the professional work environment. Members identify their skills, barriers and career interests and follow individual development plans. They work towards continuous improvement in five key behavioral areas – attendance, communication, positive workplace behavior, conduct and follow-through.

This is the first of a two-year commitment United Way of the Midlands has made to maintaining and enhancing YouthBuild Omaha.  This support has allowed Goodwill to increase services provided to the young adults enrolled in the program, and introduce innovative new learning processes.

“United Way’s support for this program is greatly appreciated by Goodwill and the YouthBuild Omaha program, and many lives will change in a positive way, thanks to all who made a contribution,” said Dr. Michael McGinnis, CEO and President of Goodwill Omaha.

About United Way of the Midlands:

Thanks to donors, volunteers and community partners, United Way of the Midlands is not only focused on addressing our community’s human needs today; it is focused on what can be and what should be. It is building on today’s strong partnerships to create even more comprehensive human service efforts tomorrow, so our community can solve some of the root causes of poverty. United Way of the Midlands is community-based, community-focused. Thanks to those who share their strength, United Way of the Midlands is COMMUNITY STRONG. Please visit UnitedWayMidlands.org for more information

About Goodwill Omaha:

Goodwill Industries, Inc. has been leaders in helping people fulfill their dreams through work since 1933. Our mission is to change lives and strengthen communities through education, training and work. Visit www.goodwillomaha.org for more information.

For Information Contact:
Christine Aguilar – Director of Mission Training
Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving Eastern Nebraska & Southwest Iowa
402-341-4609
[email protected]

 

 

 

 

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Press Release – YouthBuild Omaha Members Celebrate In Graduation Ceremony

For Immediate Release

July 11, 2018

YouthBuild Omaha Members Celebrate In Graduation Ceremony

 (Omaha, NE) Tomorrow 23 young adults dressed in cap and gown will eagerly wait behind closed doors in anticipation of walking down the aisle in their very own YouthBuild Omaha graduation ceremony. As Pomp and Circumstance plays overhead, YouthBuild Omaha members will begin the procession to the next steps of their lives, while being recognized for months of hard work, dedication and personal development.

We invite members of our community to join us in this special ceremony.

On Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 3:00 p.m., the YouthBuild Omaha Class of 2018 will be recognized for their efforts over the last ten months. The ceremony will commence at Goodwill Headquarters at 4805 North 72nd Street in Omaha. YouthBuild Omaha is a national educational, leadership development and occupational skills-training program for disadvantaged young adults and is a proud partner of the American Job Center Network.

YouthBuild taps the talent and energy of young people in Omaha to rebuild their neighborhoods and improve their lives. YouthBuild is a program for individuals who have struggled with traditional school and faced multiple barriers who are looking to make a change in their lives. YouthBuild provides them the needed support to take their next positive step in life. During their time in YouthBuild Omaha, these young adults have learned to overcome those obstacles, and they have developed a new set of tools for a successful future.

Over the course of ten months, YouthBuild Omaha members learned a number of new skills in the construction trade. Members are provided the opportunity to earn multiple certifications including High School Diploma, Home Builders Institute certification, First Aid/CPR and Occupational Safety and Health Administration certification (OSHA).

Please join us for this joyous occasion. The event will include a brief program overview, member awards, a brief presentation from Iowa Western Athlete Ja’Chai Baker and YouthBuild Omaha alumni members, and last but not least, the turning of tassels for the graduating members.

Available On-Site:

Available for interviews/quotes: YouthBuild Omaha graduates, alumni and staff,
Goodwill President & CEO Dr. Michael McGinnis.

Available for photos: All YouthBuild Omaha graduates and alumni have a photo release on file.

For Information Contact:

Ann Woodford
Marketing Manager
Goodwill Omaha
402-231-1919
[email protected]

YouthBuild  Omaha LogoAmeriCorps Logo

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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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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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Mission In Action: YouthBuild Omaha AmeriCorps Building Community

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!

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YouthBuilders Create Kid Cafe For Youth

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.

To see the full photo album, please visit our Facebook page here.

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.

 

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2017 YouthBuild Graduation

On the morning of July 13, 2017, the young men and women of YouthBuild gathered in the hallway at Goodwill Omaha headquarters to begin their walk-through for the graduation ceremony that took place that afternoon. All the graduates and YouthBuild staff had been eagerly waiting for this day. Some of the participants had dropped out of high school multiple times, others came into the program with a mindset that they could do whatever they wanted without consequences. But during their time in YouthBuild, these individuals had learned to overcome those obstacles, and they had developed a new set tools for a successful future.

The entire staff at Goodwill Omaha couldn’t be more proud of what these young individuals have accomplished! Our graduates worked extremely hard over the last ten months to reach their goals.

YouthBuild is a national educational, leadership, development and occupational skill-training program for disadvantaged young adults and is a proud partner of the American Job Center Network. The program serves adults ages 16 to 24 years who have struggled with school and are looking to make a positive change in their life.  YouthBuild combines classroom learning and hands-on construction experience, where students learn basic carpentry skills while giving back to their community through volunteering.

YouthBuild Omaha would like to thank its partners, United Way of the Midlands, ServeNebraska, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha, Abide Network and inCommon, for helping to make this year’s program a success. .

Congratulations YouthBuild Omaha 2017 Graduates! Continue to dream big and accomplish your goals!

 

 

Omaha World Herald article written about the 2017 YouthBuild Graduation

 

 

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