Washington County Gives!

Goodwill Omaha is proud to participate in the first Washington County Gives! a 24-hour charitable challenge organized by the Blair Area Chamber of Commerce and Blair Area Community Foundation. The online giving event will take place on November 28 starting at midnight.

All funds raised by Goodwill support our Work Experience program in Blair. Goodwill’s Work Experience program provides students in special education services an opportunity to gain exposure to a work situation in a supportive environment. By participating in Work Experience, students can take the first step in making the transition from a school setting to the world of work.

The Work Experience program at Goodwill’s retail store in Blair allows students with disabilities the opportunity to experience aspects of employment. From following a supervisor’s instructions to staying on task, students are gaining valuable skills to assist in the transition from the classroom to employment.

Earlier this month, the Blair Work Experience staff hosted an Open House to invite student’s families, teachers and community members to see what the students have been learning this semester. Blair Work Experience Trainer, Jenny organized an engaging night for both students and guests that included student-led store tours, face painting and craft tables. Students demonstrated the skills they’ve learned through the Work Experience program and guests enjoyed seeing the students in action.

Your support will allow Goodwill to continue to provide these opportunities for students in Washington County. Help us continue to change lives and strengthen our community by giving to Goodwill’s Work Experience program in Blair during Washington County Gives!

  1. Visit WCNEGives.org on Tuesday November 28, 2017
  2. Click “DONATE NOW”
  3. Select “Goodwill Industries Inc.” to support Goodwill’s Work Experience program in Blair!
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Mission In Action: Simon & Ken

 

Last week Goodwill celebrated employees that have served in the Armed Forces and their many contributions to our agency. From the retail stores to administrative staff, Goodwill is proud to employ many veterans from diverse backgrounds.

Meet Simon and Ken. They work at one of Goodwill’s AbilityOne federal contract locations. Through AbilityOne, Goodwill provides employment for individuals with disabilities in a supportive work environment at several federal properties across Nebraska.

Simon and Ken explain their journey from serving in the Armed Forces to employment at Goodwill. They share the skills they gained while serving and how they continue to utilize them today.

Simon joined the Army at 19 years old. He decided to join after graduating high school and feeling unfulfilled while working at fast food restaurants. He knew that there was more for him to learn and enlisting in the Army was a great way to achieve personal growth. Simon shared his initial impressions after enlisting, “Basic training was tough. I wasn’t sure I could make it through, but once I did I found so many other opportunities were available to me.” Simon explained that the Army taught him about responsibility, reliability, dependability – some of the most important aspects of becoming an adult.

After leaving the Army and several years of unemployment, Simon found an opportunity at Goodwill. He said, “Goodwill just felt right.” He loves coming to work every day because of the people – his coworkers, supervisors and the people they serve. Simon expressed his gratitude for all the opportunities he has been afforded since coming to work at Goodwill.

Ken served in the Army Reserves for 16 years. Ken enlisted because he wanted to better himself and get more education. Ken explained the various jobs that he learned while in the Army Reserves and how he overcame challenges throughout his career. While being deployed in Iraq, Ken was exposed to many difficult situations in an unfamiliar place, but it opened his eyes to what he was able to accomplish.

When asked about how he decided to work at Goodwill, Ken happily exclaimed, “Goodwill chose me!” Ken also looks forward to coming to work because of the people he gets to work with. He appreciates the opportunities to continue his personal growth at Goodwill.

Goodwill is proud to provide employment opportunities for people like Simon and Ken. Their strong work ethic and dedication are a tremendous asset to our team. Goodwill is honored to serve those that have served our country.

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Veterans Day 2017

Goodwill is honored to employ people from diverse backgrounds and varied experiences. Each employee brings a unique perspective and skill set to our agency. Employees who have served in the Armed Forces contribute their strong leadership skills and work ethic every day. At Goodwill we are proud to employ many veterans as they continue to serve their community.

Military servicemen and women are deserving of our respect and honor throughout the year, however Veterans Day reminds us of the sacrifices they and their families have made in service of our country. This special day to remember our veterans marks nearly one hundred years since the end of WWI and the holiday is still widely observed and celebrated.

Veterans Day in the United States is a legal holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars. In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I. Commemorated in many countries as Armistice Day the following year, November 11th became a federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became legally known as Veterans Day.

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day (the fourth Monday in May). Memorial Day honors American service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. While Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans – living or dead – but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

On November 11, Goodwill stands united in respect for our veterans. Remember to thank current and former service members for the sacrifice they and their families made to keep us all safe.

Below is a list of all Goodwill employees who are veterans.Goodwill employee veterans

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Media Update – Shop Goodwill For Last Minute Halloween Needs!

Halloween comes alive at Goodwill! Check out the Goodwill team showcasing costumes on the Morning Blend. We had a blast searching Goodwill stores to create several individual and group costumes for all ages. Whether you’re looking for a fresh costume idea or just need the finishing touches for your creation, Goodwill is the place to find it! Stop in today, there’s still time to create that perfect Halloween costume at Goodwill. Remember, when you shop at Goodwill you are supporting our job readiness programs that are helping people from all over the community to achieve their employment goals.

See the original story here.

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Work Experience Students Support Goodwill’s Retail Stores

Goodwill’s Work Experience program provides young adults with disabilities the opportunity to gain exposure to a work situation in a supportive environment. Eight Goodwill locations host students for a few hours a day during the school year. Most students work in one of Goodwill’s retail stores, but some students are able to get a behind-the-scenes look at Goodwill’s Retail Operations Center.

The Retail Operations Center at 72nd and F Street houses Goodwill’s logistics operations to help the retail stores operate smoothly. The Retail Operations Center services all of Goodwill’s 15 retail stores, donation pods, Attended Donation Centers and community donation drives.

My'Kel tagging donated clothesNew this year, Work Experience students utilize five new hanging and sorting stations. When Goodwill receives donated goods through community donation drives, donation pods, and Attended Donation Centers, those goods need to be sorted, tagged and hung up. However, the Retail Operations Center is not a retail store and therefore does not always have staff to complete these tasks. That’s where Work Experience students are able to step in and help out.

 

Work Experience students are trained to follow the same procedures for hanging and sorting as employees in Goodwill’s retail stores. Clothes arrive in gaylords (large cardboard boxes). Then the students sort the clothes, hang them on the rack and follow guidelines to determine the appropriate tag to attach.

Zach selecting price tags

Once the clothes are tagged and hung, they are either sent out to a Goodwill retail store or stored for later use. The extra help of Work Experience students at the Retail Operations Center allows Goodwill’s retail stores to remain fully stocked even if donations slow at that location. Their support allows Goodwill’s retail operations to keep running smoothly.

Work Experience students Zach, Mikeala and My’Kel enjoy working in the hanging and sorting stations because it keeps them busy and helps the day move fast. Work Experience trainer Patty explains, “This is a terrific job for our students. They are learning skills that are directly applicable to any retail job as well as basic employment skills like following guidelines and procedures.”

Goodwill’s Work Experience program is proud to support the work of Goodwill’s retail stores while providing students exposure to a work environment. Next time you shop at Goodwill, remember that the clothing you purchase may have been sorted and tagged by a Work Experience student.

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National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.

According to Department of Labor statistics, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is twice that of the general population, and they are also nearly three times more likely to live in poverty than those without disabilities. These are issues Goodwill is working hard to eliminate everyday through our programs and services.  In 2016, Goodwill employed 151 individuals who identified as having a disability and trained 249 high school students who received special education services.

If you are looking for ideas on promoting a disability-friendly workplace, here are seven ways to carry out the spirit of National Disability Employment Awareness Month all year long.

# 1: Host a Disability Mentoring Day

# 2: Sponsor a “Lunch and Learn” Series About Disability Issues

# 3: Provide Volunteer Opportunities to Your Employees

# 4: Display Posters Promoting Disability Inclusion

# 5: Offer American Sign Language Training Classes to Your Employees

# 6: Host a Disability 101 Event for Employees

# 7: Incorporate Disability Into Your Onboarding Processes

To see the full list of ideas, visit https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/YearRound.htm

 

Don’t forget to check out our webpage with more tips and activities.

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Mission In Action : Ahassan

 

Ahassan’s journey to Goodwill began nine months ago on the other side of the world. He arrived in Omaha in December 2016 with his family after fleeing persecution in his native country. His family was excited to reach Omaha but Ahassan knew that finding employment was an important first step while adjusting to their new home.

Ahassan shares his path to success with Goodwill Employment Specialists Sherri Kallon and Katy Young in Goodwill’s computer lab.

When Ahassan arrived in Omaha, he was assigned to an employment agency. Ahassan brings years of experience as a communications expert, is fluent in multiple languages and has several degrees and certifications. He needed an advocate to refer him to employers, provide a positive reference and help him navigate the Omaha labor market. Weeks and months passed and Ahassan was only offered positions outside his field and underutilizing his proven skills. He began to feel disheartened and unsure what the future would hold if he was not able to find a job.

The employment agency referred Ahassan to Goodwill’s Employment Ready Program to complete community service and gain exposure to the American working environment. The Employment Ready Program provides job readiness skills to anyone seeking employment assistance. Goodwill Employment Ready Specialist, Sherri Kallon explains, “When Ahassan first came to us. It was clear that he was struggling and had been let down many times. But it was also obvious that he is very intelligent and just needed someone to advocate for him.”

Sherri knew Ahassan was the perfect fit to intern in Goodwill’s computer lab. Immediately, he jumped at the opportunity to help other job seekers improve their computer skills while also researching education and job opportunities.

To enhance Ahassan’s employment search, Sherri engaged her colleague Katy Young from Goodwill’s Business Solutions Program. Business Solutions works directly with area companies to help fill their open positions. Sherri and Katy began sending Ahassan multiple job opportunities in his field. While Ahassan completed applications, Sherri and Katy worked their magic behind-the-scenes. Once Ahassan submitted his resume, Katy was quick to follow up with the company’s hiring manager to provide a positive reference. Their extra attention made the difference for Ahassan. After just two weeks at Goodwill, Ahassan interviewed and was offered the perfect position in his field.

Ahassan has been astounded by the personalized attention he received at Goodwill, saying, “Sherri and Katy are wonderful assets to Goodwill. They helped me find the perfect job and I am very grateful. Goodwill is doing amazing things in the community every day!” Join Goodwill as we wish Ahassan good luck in his new position. We know that he too will be doing amazing things in our community!

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Out & About Storytime is Coming to Goodwill!

Goodwill is proud to partner with the Omaha Public Library to host a monthly Out & About Storytime event at the Benson Park Goodwill Store! Storytime fosters early literacy skills by providing parents the opportunity to introduce their children to reading and language in a fun way. Storytime is designed for preschoolers and their parents, but children of all ages are encouraged to attend and participate.

During Storytime, a librarian leads parents and children in engaging stories, songs, rhymes and finger plays – all designed to help your child learn to love reading. Parents must stay with their children during Storytime and are encouraged to participate in activities. Parents can also learn tips from Omaha Public Library staff about reading aloud, age-appropriate books, music, songs and other activities used during Storytime.

Join us for Out & About Storytime at the Benson Park Goodwill store located at 4805 N 72nd St (72nd & Ames) from 10:30-11:00 on Friday December 22.

Guests at Goodwill’s Out & About Storytime will also enjoy snacks, stickers and a coupon for one FREE book to take home!

Click here to view the event on Facebook >>>

StoryTime At Goodwill in December

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10 Things You Should Never, Ever Pass Up If You See Them at Goodwill

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