The agency expects the retail store and donation center to open in early October and the training center in January 2023.

Goodwill Omaha is announcing its plan to expand into south Omaha later this year, as well as new roles among its executive leadership team as part of the expansion. Goodwill’s south Omaha location will reside at 3327 L St., a former Hy-Vee location. The space will house a job training center, thrift store and donation center, community meeting and training space, administrative offices, and office space available for lease to the community and Goodwill partners.

A rendering of what Goodwill’s new retail thrift store and training center in Stockyards Plaza could look like.

Goodwill Omaha’s south Omaha job training center will bring the organization’s employment training, certification, and placement programs to an area where Goodwill doesn’t currently have a strong presence.

“Goodwill leadership teams have talked about moving into south Omaha for many years, but it just never worked out,” said Tobi Mathouser, president and CEO at Goodwill Omaha. “I’m a south Omaha native, and I love the community, so expanding our footprint so we can serve this community has been one of my priorities. I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to move forward with this. The south Omaha community has been very receptive to our plans and have made us feel welcome.”

Mathouser said Goodwill’s south Omaha location will bring 25 to 30 new retail jobs to south Omaha, as well as approximately 25 new jobs in the organization’s mission programs and administrative departments.

“Goodwill is excited to bring new jobs to south Omaha,” Mathouser said, “and to bring our job training and placement services that help people become employable or get training that will help them move into better, higher-paying jobs. That, after all, is Goodwill’s mission.”

Mathouser said the 11,000-square-foot sales floor will be about the size of Goodwill Omaha’s stores in Gretna and Fremont. The 20,000-square-foot training center will comprise rentable training and office spaces, Goodwill training classrooms, and employee offices and cubicles. “I envision this space will be similar to our headquarters in Benson Park Plaza,” Mahouser said. “A smaller, second headquarters of sorts.”

Mathouser said that in its efforts to expand into south Omaha, Goodwill’s leadership team has listened to nearby business owners, organizations, community members, and potential program participants for the past six months, to hear their thoughts about the community’s needs. “We will continue those efforts over the next three months as we begin planning for specific mission programming,” she said. “One thing we know is that we must be flexible.

“This location may look a little different than anything we’ve done before,” Mathouser continued, “but, at the end of the day, everything we do is with the intention to strengthen the community through education, training, and work, so we need the ability to adapt to the communities we serve.” Mathouser said that “to facilitate and sustain the expansion into south Omaha, Goodwill Omaha has made several organizational changes,” which became effective April 1.

“Our generous donors and shoppers are the reason Goodwill Omaha is able to provide the employment programs we do,” Mathouser said, “and their support is the reason we’ll be able to help even more people in more parts of our community in the coming years.”