United Way of the Midlands Awards $36,000 Grant to Goodwill Industries, Inc., to Fund YouthBuild Omaha

For Immediate Release

July 16, 2019


(Omaha, NE) Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving Eastern Nebraska & Southwest Iowa is pleased to announce it was awarded a $36,000 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 and other high demand occupations, 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 second 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 young adults enrolled in the program, and introduce innovative new learning processes. In 2019, United Way funding allowed Goodwill to purchase 12 state of the art monitors and 2 printers (one being a 3D printer) to expand our YouthBuild Construction Plus model to include IT Certification. Upon successful completion, students will earn MakerBot 3D Printing Certification and Autodesk Certification, preparing the next generation of CADD industry professionals.

“United Way’s grant and continued support for the Goodwill YouthBuild Omaha programs is greatly appreciated. It will bring positive change to the lives of many youth enrolled in the program,” 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:

Tobi Mathouser – Director of Mission Advancement

Goodwill Industries, Inc. Serving Eastern Nebraska & Southwest Iowa


[email protected]

My Goodwill Experience

As my time at Goodwill comes to an end, I have to look back at all of the experiences I have been given over the past four months. This internship has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have learned so much from so many different people here, that I wouldn’t even know where to begin if someone were to ask me what my favorite part about my internship was. Instead of getting sappy and sentimental (not really my style), I wanted to give some pointers or advice to the next intern who steps into my place at the Omaha Goodwill office.

  1. You will meet EVERYONE: Goodwill is an amazing organization with so many unique people from all different walks of life. Every single one of my coworkers comes from a different background and I can honestly say I have learned something valuable from each and every one of them during my time at Goodwill. Be prepared to meet a ridiculous number of people. It’ll be hard to remember everyone’s name on the first day, but you’ll get the hang of it.
  2. You will get to visit some great places: Goodwill holds many different contracts at places all around town. Because of these contracts, I got to go to some cool places like the ROC (the Goodwill warehouse), Zorinsky Federal Building and the Offutt Air force Base. I never would have thought that working at Goodwill would allow me to watch fighter jets take off and do practice laps or see the inside of a national security building. These field trips were some of my favorite days of work, so get ready for some cool adventures!
  3. You will learn A LOT: Wowza, where do I even begin? Coming in my first day, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I was working a marketing internship, but being at a non-profit, I didn’t really know what my job would entail. On my first day I learned everything there is to know about Goodwill and about every single thing that they do for the community. Let me tell you, my mind almost exploded with information! I never knew one organization could help out a community in so many ways like Goodwill does. After I got acquainted, I got to get into the marketing and let me tell you, I learned A LOT more in this area. I learned about advertising, design, e-mail blasts, communication, and app design just to name a few. The amount of valuable knowledge that I have gained in the past four months is astonishing and it will stick with me forever. Be warned, your brain will feel like it’s going to explode with information but it’s totally worth it.
  4. Enjoy every minute of it: I can honestly say I have enjoyed every moment of my internship. It wasn’t always the most exciting or glamorous job, but it was always a learning experience. There will be days when you get bored, but never be afraid to ask for more work or ask for help, everyone in this office has a kind soul and they will drop everything they’re doing to help you. I am sad to be leaving Goodwill, but it will forever have a piece of my heart.