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

402-341-4609

[email protected]

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Sector Training Expands Mission Focus at Goodwill Omaha

Sector Training Expands Mission Focus at Goodwill Omaha

Over the spring months of 2018, Goodwill Omaha developed a sector training program based on multiple community needs. The Mission Advancement team identified a nationally recognized retail training. After research was done it was determined that the training would be a good fit for the new program. At Goodwill we have a unique benefit of having access to our retail stores. This access provides real, on-the-job training in a real-life setting.

With the initial curriculum was built, we determined that a defined classroom space to practice these skills while teaching them would be very beneficial—in turn we created a mock retail store located in our headquarters building.

“We had a great trainer, Jen Driscoll. She developed the curriculum, trained and tested participants by working one-one-one with them daily. Jen made sure the program participants were successful and supported at all times” says Christine Aguilar, Director of Mission Training.

Our Employment Ready program assisted with the job readiness curriculum and our Business Solutions program worked with the participants during their training to identify employment goals. Employment Ready and Business Solutions worked together to achieve permanent employment opportunities for the participants.

“After reviewing the first cohort, we are very excited with the successful results and we plan to provide this training on an ongoing basis. We are also exploring other potential referral sources to expand the number of participants served” says Aguilar.  

Results

The first training class started on May 7, 2018 and concluded June 1, 2018. All four program participants successfully obtained certification. Two of the participants have secured full time employment. The other two participants are actively interviewing with local employers. Goodwill’s Business Solutions team continues to assist the participants with the employment and retention support.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to learn new skills and learn more about the operations of a retail store. I would one day like to own my own small retail store to provide fashionable items for women of all sizes,” said Michelle, one of the four program participants.

The new program is just one of many ways that Goodwill Omaha is proudly serving members of our community by changing lives through education, training, and work.

“We are looking forward to offering another class in the coming months,” says Aguilar.

Sector training opportunities are available to those in the community who desire training to increase their employability in order to secure employment.


Written By: Joshua Meyer

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Donations Through Omaha Gives! Support Goodwill Employment Services

Donations Through Omaha Gives! Support

Goodwill Employment Services

Omaha Gives Combined Images From LIV lounge

On Wednesday, May 23, the Omaha metro came together to support local nonprofit agencies through Omaha Gives!—an event hosted by the Omaha Community Foundation. Omaha Gives! is a year-round, online giving campaign with the mission of growing community-based  philanthropic efforts in Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie counties. Each May, a 24-hour online giving event is held to celebrate nonprofits. All nonprofits in the Omaha metro from small startups to seasoned organizations are given the opportunity to participate and receive donations.

This year marked the 6th annual Omaha Gives! philanthropy event. Just this year alone, our community came together to support 970 nonprofits and raised over $7.4 million. Goodwill Omaha has participated in Omaha Gives! since 2013 and has raised over $125,000 total for our mission programs. During the 2018 Omaha Gives! campaign, Goodwill had 36 supporters who who generously donated over $9,800. The funds raised in 2018 will directly support our Employment Ready and Business Solutions programs.

Through these programs, we can serve anyone in our community, regardless of qualifying criteria, and help them prepare for and find meaningful employment. Anyone in need of employment assistance in the Omaha Metro area can come to Goodwill and receive assistance.

Combined Image 2 LIV lounge

Programs Supported

Employment Ready staff provided nearly 17,000 services to program participants in the past year- ranging from practice interviews, to criminal history abatement, to employability skills before and after hire.

Business Solutions is the second program related to this initiative. Business Solutions takes the same approach as Employment Ready, but focuses those efforts on employers, rather than job seekers. Our Business Solutions staff specializes in identifying the hiring needs in our city, and matching those needs with the people we serve.

Employment Ready and Business Solutions staff work together seamlessly within Goodwill.  Employment Ready values the job development efforts that Business Solutions maintains in the community, as it allows them to concentrate on job readiness.  Business Solutions needs work-ready people to fill employer needs. We’ve designed these two programs so that they operate in a connected but independent way—providing the best services to people and businesses alike.

Thank You!

We are so thankful for the generosity of those in our community who stand behind our mission of changing lives and strengthening communities through education, training and work. As always, it is truly amazing to see Omaha come together and support all of it’s wonderful nonprofits!

Thank you to everyone who has and continues to support our mission. To find out more about our mission and programs, click here.

Save the date for next year’s giving day on May 22, 2019! Or click here to give year-round.

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Good Turn for Goodwill – A Partnership with Girl Scouts of Nebraska

Good Turn For Goodwill

A Partnership with Girl Scouts of Nebraska

Good Turn for Goodwill

During the month of April, Goodwill Omaha partnered with Girl Scouts of Nebraska for the annual Good Turn for Goodwill donation drive.  Throughout April, Girl Scout troops went into the Omaha Metro, Fremont, Lincoln, and Norfolk communities to collect donations from the public. Troops then dropped of the donations at their local Goodwill Omaha location. This year marked the 33rd year for the Good Turn for Goodwill donation drive.

Good Turn Recap

This year, 13 troops including 183 scouts participated—making more than 75 donations to Goodwill Omaha. That’s approximately 3,000 pounds of donated goods collected from the community. In years past Goodwill has given bags to help collect donations. For this year’s drive, Goodwill Omaha decided to be more environmentally conscious. By forgoing bags and encouraging scouts to make bagless donations, Goodwill can help keep waste out of the landfills. We find it important for the scouts to understand that we care about the environment. Donations are not required to be given in a bag or box. Donations can simply be dropped off at any Goodwill donation center.

Event sponsors included: Amazing Pizza Machine and Papio Fun Park. Troops were chosen at random to receive prizes that consisted of $100 Amazing Pizza Machine gift cards and $50 Sonic gift cards. All scouts who participated were sent a “Good Turn for Goodwill” badge and certificates for a free game of mini golf at Papio Fun Park.

Mission Support

All donated materials collected during the drive will be sold in Goodwill Omaha’s 14 retail stores. Each time you shop or donate at a Goodwill retail store, the revenue generated is used to support the not-for-profit agency’s employment and training programs for individuals with disabilities and other disadvantages. To find out more about our employment and training programs, click here.

Through training and employment opportunities, Goodwill assists the community’s economy by creating wage earners as well as consumers. Thanks to our customers and donors, 1,797 people were enrolled in a Goodwill program in 2017. In addition, Goodwill program participants were placed in 230 jobs during 2017.


JoshMeyer-MarketingSpecialist

Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Employment Ready Helps Students Find Business Casual Attire

Employment Ready Helps Students Find Business Casual Attire 

During the last week of March, Megan Sharpe, Goodwill Omaha’s Employment Ready Manager, received a phone call from Rebecca Dunn who teaches at Ralston High School. Dunn is currently teaching a Future Teacher Internship program. The class focuses on preparing students for future interviews and internships. Goodwill Omaha’s Employment Ready program was asked to partner with the Ralston High School class to provide assistance in how to choose appropriate attire for interviews and internships.

Teaming Up

Sharpe met with the class on April 16 to share how Employment Ready provides free one-on-one job readiness services to those unemployed or underemployed in the Omaha Metro.  Sharpe also spoke about proper business casual attire and how to find this clothing at our Goodwill locations. This partnership was an opportunity to educate the youth in the Ralston and Papillion community—by sharing Goodwill Omaha’s mission programs and how our retail stores support those programs.

The next day Sharpe met the Future Teacher Internship class at our Papillion retail store (84th and Giles).

Megan Sharpe Employment Ready Manager - Introduce Students to Papillion Store

Gathered in the front of the store, Sharpe took a moment to show some examples of proper business casual clothing. Among her examples was acceptable attire for a professional interview.

Example of Business Casual Denim

Megan also took time to remind students of the importance in making a great first impression during an interview. The students were encouraged to shop on their own. Sharpe and Dunn offered guidance and support—ensuring students were choosing appropriate business casual options.  

Business Casual Polka Dot Pants

Ralston Students Browsing

Students were able to find garments by category, size, and color in our Papillion retail store. This made it easy for them to build outfits that paired well with their personalities.

Ralston Male Students Shown Examples of Business Casual Shirts

Ralston Students Share Finds

Interview Ready

Finally, all 17 of the Future Teacher Internship students walked away with business casual outfits for their upcoming interviews.

Ralston Student Checks Out

Each student was given a $20 gift card, which was provided by both Ralston High and Goodwill Omaha. This gave students the ability to find a full outfit. Also showing them how beneficial shopping at Goodwill is while on a tight budget. The students enjoyed the hunt for unique and trendy items they may not have normally found at other retailers. While using the provided gift cards, students were educated on how donating and shopping at Goodwill Omaha supports our mission programs such as Employment Ready.

Ralston Students All Found Outfits


JoshMeyer-MarketingSpecialist

Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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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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Clean Sweep – Living with Less Mess

Clean Sweep – Living with Less Mess

Draw the curtains and let the sun shine in because it’s time to do some spring cleaning. Wondering where to start or what to do with those household items you can’t wait to move on from?  We will be sharing some helpful tips on how and what to clean; along with getting the most out of your spring cleaning endeavors.

Science Behind Spring Cleaning  

Do you sometimes wonder why so many of us have the urge to tidy up or do our most detailed cleaning this time of year? You can thank biology for that. HowStuffWorks’ blog post Why Do We Traditionally Clean Our Homes At the Beginning of Spring explains that due to lack of sunlight exposure our bodies produce a hormone called melatonin that causes sleepiness in humans. Research shows that as the days grow longer and we are exposed to more sunlight we have more energy. Hence the reason we become more active in the warmer sun drenched months. With your replenished energy supply, you are free to tackle all of those cleaning and organizing tasks that have been pushed aside over the winter months.

Clean Slate

Cleaning SuppliesMost of us know that during winter months dust tends to settle and allergens can be trapped indoors due to lack of air movement and fresh air entering our homes. A great place to start your cleaning is dusting every nook and cranny. If you are a new homeowner or renter, try finding guidelines for your spring cleaning while tailoring them to your living space. HGTV has provided what seems like a fool-proof cleaning list to help guide you and ensure your home is left spotless. Click here to view their easy to follow cleaning checklist. We suggest keeping lists like this on hand year round. Consistently cleaning your home throughout the year will significantly lessen the amount of work you have to do come next spring.

Let’s Talk Minimalism.

Minimalism is growing in popularity. Some consider it just another bandwagon fad, yet others consider it a lifestyle choice. Those who have chosen to live with a more minimal mindset claim to be freed from the control of material items. In the end those individuals find they have less to clean and take care of. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus expand upon minimalism and give helpful advice on how to live minimally on their website The Minimalists. Maybe you have thought about living a minimal lifestyle, your wardrobe could be a great place to start. If you decide to make a switch towards minimalism, you can donate your unwanted items to your local Goodwill.

At Goodwill Omaha the items you donate are either sold in our retail stores, or recycled. Keeping thousand of pounds of goods from going into the landfills. The sales from your donations directly support the employment services and programs we provide. In 2017 our employment services and mission programs served 1,797 people.

Declutter and Donate

A large part of spring cleaning is decluttering your space. Naturally, some areas of our home tend to become more cluttered than others. Trying to tackle clutter can be quite overwhelming for some of us. You’ll probably want to set up quick, efficient tasks similar to these tasks that Good Housekeeping has listed. Doing so will help guide you toward the end results you are seeking. We suggest going through the areas listed below and setting aside all of the items you no longer need, use, or want.

Spring Clean

  • Closets (clothing, linen, etc.)
  • Junk Drawers
  • Office Space
  • Pantries
  • Storage Rooms
  • Garage

 

Click here to view Goodwill Omaha’s acceptable donations guideline. You can donate those items at any of our conveniently located donation pods or donation centers. To find the location nearest you, click here.


JoshMeyer-MarketingSpecialist

Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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