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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Spring Has Sprung! Rejuvenate Your Look with Fresh Finds at Goodwill®

Each new season is a chance for a refresh and, like the world outside that is bursting with buds and blooms, a colorful revamp can rejuvenate your home on the inside, too. With Easter right around the corner, here are some new springtime ideas for your halls, walls and wardrobe, too.

 

Image via stayingclosetohome.com

This upside-down wine glass Easter display that I found on Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth’s (TX) Easter Headquarters Pinboard is both brilliant and beautiful. I can’t believe I’ve never thought of this! Functioning now as both a terrarium-type display and a tea-light holder, this thrifted stemware gets a whole new use. It’s darling with Easter grass and candy eggs inside, but I’m also picturing themed arrangements of seashells in the summer, fallen leaves for autumn, and — dare I say it? — tinsel and ornaments when winter rolls around again. It’s lovely as a table centerpiece, but it could also cheerfully greet guests on an entry hall table.

 

Image via ruffledblog.com

Kimberly from A Night Owl blog did a lovely DIY round-up, too! Her post 10 Spring and Easter Goodwill Projects has so many sunny ideas inspired by this vibrant season. This floral thrifted picture frame display gives a backyard party such a whimsical touch, but can you imagine it inside on a wall, too? What a fun way to brighten up your home for a brunch. I can’t think of a better place to snap a selfie. Click through for more ideas and to get a better look at the floral frame display. Goodwill® is an entrepreneurial leader, environmental pioneer and social innovator in the “reduce, reuse, repurpose” practice, and these reimagined frames are the perfect example of that.

 

Image via dulcecandy.com

Whether you work hard to stay in style or you’re feeling stuck in a rut, you’ll love these tips from Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina (Greenville)’s blog. Its Spring Fashion: How to Look Luxe on a Budget post has some easy rules that will inspire your shopping, not stifle it. My favorite? Save on clothing, splurge on accessories. Why? To get the most use possible out of a high-priced item, it has to be something you can wear every day this spring. You can only don a cute dress or skirt once a week without raising eyebrows, but a designer bag, shoes or jewelry can be worn again and again.

In the ensemble above, Dulce has thrifted a shirt several sizes too large and belted it as a dress. Grabbing a great deal on clothing items frees up your budget for higher-priced accessories. Of course, don’t forget to check the shoe section as well as under the counter at Goodwill. Designer items get donated all the time, so there’s a chance you could save money by thrifting this whole outfit!

What are your favorite spring home and style insights this season? Do you have any great ideas for Easter decor or bright wardrobe updates? However you choose to celebrate the season, enjoy!

Blog shared from Goodwill Industries International
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Eight Ways to Pitch Your Diverse Background as an Employment Asset

It has become more common to hear employers talk about valuing workplace diversity and inclusion. For Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers, this meant including a certain number of people of different genders or races in the workplace. Today’s Millennial generation, however, prefers “cognitive diversity,” or the blending of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives within a team.

As employers seek to hire people with diverse racial, sexual, class or religious backgrounds, you can drive the conversation about the value that your own diversity brings to a company.

Use these shifts in values to your advantage when applying and interviewing for jobs. Here are eight benefits of a diverse workplace that you can cite when talking with employers:

  1. Adaptability—Having a workforce of diverse experiences and backgrounds will better prepare organizations to adapt to unforeseen challenges and opportunities.
  2. Range of Service—A diverse workforce can impact the range of services the organization can provide.
  3. Varying Perspectives—Employing professionals from a variety of industries and backgrounds can bring new and different perspectives to the table.
  4. Learning and Growth—Having a diverse staff will create opportunities for people to get to learn more about different backgrounds and professions.
  5. Communication—A staff that can conduct business and provide customer service in multiple languages means opportunities to grow and expand into new markets.
  6. Increased Productivity—An organization with a diverse workforce can often increase productivity by tapping into the wealth of knowledge on staff.
  7. Increased Innovation—Having a wide variety of opinions, skills, experiences and backgrounds on staff is a great way to encourage innovation in the workplace.
  8. Satisfy a Diverse Customer Base—An organization whose staff represents its diverse customer base is a great way to create connections between the staff and the customer.
Blog shared from Goodwill Industries International
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Tips for Narrowing Down Your Career Interests

When you first start working, you may try a number of fields and position types to see what works best for you; when it’s time to start a career track, though, it helps to be certain about your goals and what you want to do.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that the average baby boomer held 11.7 jobs between the ages of 18-48. Millennials are estimated to hold twice that many in a variety of different career fields throughout their natural working lives.

Settling on a path is hard with so much bouncing around. Here are some tips for narrowing down your career interests and seeking out the best opportunities for your long-term career aspirations:

  • Explore Career Tracks: Created by the Office of Career Services at NYU’s Graduate School of Public Service, the career tracks exercise is an excellent tool for identifying career-paths best suited to your individual interests. While the exercise will take some time to complete, it is guaranteed to help you to narrow down viable career opportunities, which is the first step that you should take.
  • Establish Goals: The first and most important step in narrowing down your career interests is to take a moment and identify your personal and professional goals, then determine what you are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve them. Take the time to write down what is most important to you and focus your energy on seeking out opportunities that will satisfy your needs on a holistic level.
  • Find the Right Work Environment: Investigate companies you may be interested in so that you can determine if they will be a good fit for your personality. Web resources like Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com and Salary.com are free to use and provide users with access to information like salaries, incentive programs, reviews of the management staff and just about anything else someone would need to decide if the environment would be good fit. You can also request an exploratory interview or job shadow.
  • Network: Actively seek out relationships with other professionals. Not only can discussing your goals be helpful in identifying viable career opportunities, but it is also helpful to be notified when job prospects become available. While resources like CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com or Job.com can be helpful in your efforts to search for jobs, having a relationship with an internal employee who is willing to refer you for an opening is invaluable. Strive to grow your professional network, find others who share similar career aspirations and brainstorm creative solutions to achieve your goals.

If you are interested in learning more about identifying viable career opportunities, request a virtual career mentor at GoodProspects®, or visit the career discussion forums.

Blog shared from Goodwill Industries International
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Tips for Writing a Cover Letter

Cover letters are an important part of the job application process. They give the employer a deeper look into what you have to offer and why you would be a good fit for their company. I’m going to share a few tips below on how to make your cover letter stand out.

  • Make it about the company. Every job you apply to should have a personalized cover letter that explains why you want that specific job. This shows the employer that you have taken the time to do your research on this position and this company. Look at the description for the job you’re applying to and match your skills to those they’re looking for.  You can then write about how you have shown those skills in the past.
  • Make it concise. A cover letter should ideally be about three paragraphs long: how you found out about the job, why you want the job, and what skills you have that would benefit the company. It should never be longer than one page.
  • Make it personal. The best way to address a cover letter is to find out who will do the hiring. You can call or email someone in an administrative role at the company to see if they have the contact information for the person who will do the hiring. If you can’t find that information, just write “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Recruiter.” Do not say “To Whom it May Concern.”

Here are some additional sources on crafting good cover letters. When in doubt, contact a GoodProspects virtual career mentor to coach you through the job application process.

Blog shared from Goodwill Industries International
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No degree? No problem! Trending Healthcare jobs

The healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing job markets. Omaha’s healthcare market is no exception.  As our country continues to have a growth in the aging population the need for healthcare providers is on the rise. Let Goodwill’s Business Solutions help you Find Your Future at our career fair highlighting the healthcare industry on March 1, 2017.

Here are five trending healthcare jobs that do not require a four-year degree.

  1. LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse)
  • U.S. job listings: 55,202
  • Average salary: $38,776
  • Year-Over-Year Job Growth: 6.56%
  1. Phlebotomist
  • U.S. job listings: 29,736
  • Average salary: $28,623
  • Year-Over-Year Job Growth: 6.10%
  1. Surgical Technician (Operating Room Technician)
  • U.S. job listings: 11,623
  • Average salary: $39,072
  • Year-Over-Year Job Growth: 2.70%
  1. Medical Assistant
  • U.S. job listings: 21,543
  • Average salary: $29,320
  • Year-Over-Year Job Growth: 1.94%
  1. Radiologic Technologist (Radiographer)
  • U.S. job listings: 8,500
  • Average salary: $47,566
  • Year-Over-Year Job Growth: 1.74%
*Data from http://www.simplyhired.com: Simply Hired U.S. Employment Outlook ranks the Best Healthcare Jobs That Don’t Require a 4-Year Degree
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Customer Appreciation Days!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We would like to say THANK YOU to all of our customers! Because of loyal customers like you, in 2016 Goodwill has been able to provide over 22,000 employment services to people in our community.

Please join us for a 2-day sale! All customers will receive 10% off, and if you are a Goodwill cardholder, you’ll receive 20% off!

During our sale we will be having popcorn, refreshments and we will be doing merchandise credit drawings, goody bags and coloring pages for children.

And don’t forget to also sign up for our big giveaway!

Two lucky winners from each store will receive 20% off for a whole year!

 

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Improve your job skills with READY

READY services provided by Goodwill offers free, one-on-one, job readiness services to anyone who is unemployed or underemployed.

Assistance with resumes, job applications, cover letters, letter of explanation or referrals to other programs in our community are just some of the employment assistance services READY provides. If your barriers to employment keep you from searching for work or if you aren’t confident in your interviewing skills, the READY program is for you.

Since July 2016, READY has helped 665 individuals in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area with employment assistance. Of those served, 200 individuals have found employment with an average wage of $12.26 per hour and 38 hours per week.

READY is continuously looking for participants and organizations to work with. Our services are offered at no cost to participants or partnering agency. We currently partner with seven agencies in the Metro Area. For those not able to come to our main office on 72nd & Ames, READY may be able to bring services to outbound partnering locations.

If you have any questions, or would like to set up an appointment, please contact Megan at 402-231-1901.

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#ThriftyThursday – Back To School

Summer’s winding down and the new school years finally arrived (with cheers from parents and groans from kids). While it is difficult to find some school supplies items such as pencils, pens, scissors and highlighters at thrift stores; it is more than likely you will find other important school supplies for the year.

I popped into Benson Park looking for anything school related and right away, I found three vital items for any student. The first one, though small, is as important as it gets; a book cover. Almost every teacher requires book covers for their books and it can get a bit pricey buying brand new. But at Goodwill an unopened book cover is only 39¢!

Book Cover for only $.39!

Book Cover for only $.39!

The second thing I found is something that every kid needs going into the school year, a nifty looking backpack – being only $7.99 makes it that much niftier.

Backpack costing $7.99

Backpack costing $7.99

The final thing that caught my eye was a sturdy desk that any student could put in their room. The desk only costs $19.99.

Sturdy desk for $19.99

Sturdy desk for $19.99

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#ThriftyThursday- Name Brand Deals

Buying Name Brand clothes without the Name Brand Price

Once a week I like to pop my head into Goodwill’s retail store at 72nd and Ames.   I am usually looking for kids’ clothes and furniture that I can’t live without.   I try to be very selective with what I purchase, so sometimes I walk out without buying anything.   This was not the case last week though!

To my delight, I was able to find a whole bunch of baby Gap clothes.

I snagged a red sweater and legging jeans ($1.59 each) for my daughter and a corduroy jacket for my son ($2.99). All perfect for the upcoming fall season.

I also picked up a pair of green jean shorts and an adorable pink dress with fish for next summer ($1.59 each).

In total, I spent a fraction of the cost – $9.35 – on five pairs of adorable baby Gap clothes. Thank you Goodwill!

Cheap ClothesCheap Name Brand Clothes

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