Amid service-industry labor shortages, Goodwill has an unusual number of jobs available. 

Jobless claims, which hovered just below 600,000 last week, are the lowest since early 2020, and economists forecast that around 977,500 jobs were added last month, yet businesses in service industries report they’re struggling to fill jobs. That’s why Goodwill  Omaha is unveiling a campaign to encourage job seekers to apply, and new employees hired during the campaign time frame could earn hiring bonuses of up to $1,500.

Goodwill Omaha straddles two industries encountering labor shortages — retail and human services — causing an inordinate number of open positions right now, although the organization’s retail sales are strong. The hiring bonuses will range from $250 for part-time cashier and custodian positions to $750 for full-time retail production associates to $1,500 for full-time project managers in the AbilityOne program.

“Economists are saying there could be several reasons for the labor shortage, including lingering worries about COVID-19 and child care needs,” said Erin Blackledge, director of human resources at Goodwill Omaha. “We want people in the community to know that Goodwill is a great place to work, and we’re willing to offer incentives to encourage them to apply and experience Goodwill’s culture for themselves.”

Goodwill Omaha’s hiring bonuses likely will be available for qualifying employees hired this month, Blackledge said, and could extend beyond that depending on the number of positions filled. “We also want job seekers to know that Goodwill has great benefits packages for both full-time and part-time employees,” she said, “and we’ve permanently waived the 60-day insurance waiting period, so employees can get coverage starting the first of the month following their start date.”

To kick off the hiring push, Blackledge and Goodwill Omaha’s HR team are preparing for a week of hiring events, which will start on May 10. Each event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., although at different locations throughout the Omaha metro. Job seekers will be able to apply and interview for positions on the spot.

“We coordinate and host hiring events every week for our business partners, so we know they’re effective,” said Tobi Mathouser, Goodwill Omaha’s president and CEO. “It seems natural to have them ourselves when we have an unusual number of open positions. Hiring events also might be preferable for people who want to avoid a lengthy hiring process or don’t want to wait several days between the time they apply and the time they’re called for an interview.”

Goodwill Omaha’s hiring events will take place May 10 through 14 at the following locations:

  • Monday, May 10, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Goodwill Omaha Headquarters, 4805 N 72nd Street, Omaha, NE 68134
  • Tuesday, May 11, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Panera Bread, 8650 S 71st Street, Ste A, Omaha, NE 68133
  • Wednesday, May 12, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Scooter’s Coffee, 2211 Capehart Rd, #107, Bellevue, NE 68123
  • Thursday, May 13, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Scooter’s Coffee, 11975 Blondo Street, Omaha, NE 68164
  • Friday, May 14, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Goodwill Retail Store & Donation Center, 8457 W. Center Road, 2nd Floor, Omaha, NE 68124

For more information about Goodwill’s hiring bonuses and events, benefits, and qualifying positions, please visit GoodwillOmaha.org/hiring.