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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Kim Streit, A Story Behind the Store

Kim Streit, A Story Behind the Store

Whizzing by with clothing in hand and a smile on her face, Kim Streit works hard to keep a clean sales floor full of fresh product at the 180th and Q Goodwill store. Kim is an ever positive 29 year old who was born with a cognitive learning disability. Having been born and raised in Gretna, Nebraska—Kim is blessed with a loving and supportive family who strives to go the extra mile to make sure she is provided opportunities to succeed in life.

Kim Distributing Softlines Back to Camera

Kindness is one of Kim’s strong suits, you will likely never catch her in bad mood, or without a smile on her face. Unfortunately, her kindness was also been taken advantage of in the past, which added a level of difficulty in building her social skills as she grew older.

“Socializing has never been one of Kim’s strong suits, but working at Goodwill has helped her come out of her shell,” says Denise, Kim’s mother.

Throughout her retail training in the Work Experience Program and her time working at Goodwill, Kim has made tremendous strides in her social interaction skills and has become much more personable.

Kim Streit Distributing Clothing Facing Camera

Goodwill’s partnership with Kim came to fruition when she was enrolled in the Work Experience Program in August of 2006. For many, the Work Experience Program is the first step toward successful job placement through supportive training in our retail stores. During Kim’s time in the program, she learned vital skills in a supportive classroom setting and gained exposure to a real work environment in Goodwill’s retail stores.

Kim Streit Distributing Hardline Facing Camera

Upon graduating from the Work Experience Program in March of 2009, Kim went on to part time work at Lucky-D’s Tack Shop in Gretna. To help with a smooth transition from student to employee, Kim was partnered with a job coach from Career Solutions through the Ollie Webb Center Inc. The job coach helped Kim become acclimated to her new surroundings and adapt to her new set of responsibilities.

Kim’s time at Lucky-D’s came to an end after the summer of 2009. Soon after Kim applied for a position at the 180th & Q Goodwill store. She was hired as a part time employee after interviewing with Janelle Ellis, who was the Store Manager at the time of Kim’s hire.

“While interviewing Kim, she smiled the entire time and I knew she could add so much value to our team with her can-do attitude and bright personality. She was going to fit in well with our team dynamics and make us even stronger. I just had to hire her! She was, and still is, a ray of sunshine. Kim started at Goodwill with her job coach from Career Solutions, my plan for her was to start off small and grow.  She first learned how to put away tank tops, then once she was a pro at that, she moved on to putting away tank tops and short sleeve shirts. We worked in each clothing category for a day or two, then added another category. In about two months, she knew how to put all clothing away by size, color and category. Once she mastered that, we began on fitting room recovery. She would check the fitting rooms between putting away each clothing rack.  She caught on quickly in each area. Her job coach was instrumental in her success as well as the rest of the Goodwill team. One doesn’t succeed without help from others, it takes a family to succeed. At first her job coach was coming in daily, then a couple times a week, then once a week. After about two months he approached me and stated that Kim told him he doesn’t need to come anymore. At that point we both knew that Kim had the confidence in her work and had adapted very well to the team. She was ready to do it all on her own,” said Janelle Ellis, who is now Assistant Director of Retail Sales at Goodwill. Kim has been a model employee at the 180th and Q store for eight years and will be celebrating her ninth anniversary with Goodwill on October 5, 2018. According to her current manager, Osama Rashan, “Kim arrives on time every day, works hard, and never calls in. Her current duties and responsibilities include greeting all customers, distributing processed clothing and household wares items and assisting customers with dressing rooms. Other duties that Kim helps with are cleaning the store and maintaining sales floor standards.”

Kim Streit pushing wares cart not facing camera

“She is always willing to help where needed and has an amazing memory when it comes to scheduling. She even helps remind others of scheduling changes that occur.” says Osama.

“Structure is something Kim relies on in her life, she sometimes struggles with being flexible when unforeseen conflicts arise in her daily schedule.” says Denise, Kim’s mother.

As part of the mission of changing lives through education, training and work,  Goodwill is able to offer Kim the structure to strive in her daily work life and is able to help her embrace flexibility by the means of retail’s ever-changing environment. Kim is also able to focus on her strong suits of memorization and consistency when working in the store. Kim’s strengths support the ongoing success of the 180th & Q store.

Kim Streit distributing hardlines

Kim is currently focused on living well, eating healthy and getting involved in social atmospheres aside from work.

“I like to hangout with friends and play games, my favorite board game is Sorry. I also love to go bowling with friends and family,” said Kim.

According to Kim’s parents, Goodwill has been able to help Kim in many ways. These ways include assisting Kim in building her self worth and confidence, while providing a supportive setting for social interaction.  From a shy Work Experience student in 2006, to an outgoing employee today, Goodwill is proud to provide employment services to amazing people just like Kim. This is Kim’s story, just one of the many Stories Behind the Stores. Kim is an amazing young woman who has taken, and continues to take, steps to better herself—growing both personally and professionally.

Kim Streit Smiles while helping coworkers

 


Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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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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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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Find Your Creative Style With Goodwill Omaha’s Look Book

Find Your Creative Style With Goodwill Omaha’s Look Book

Inner Creativity.

Do you ever find yourself seeking a creative nudge for your wardrobe? First of all, it can be difficult to find your inner creative self—especially in today’s saturated clothing industry. It can also be tiresome and costly to keep up with the status quo. Personally styling your look is a common way for you to express yourself. However, most of us need guidelines, tips, or advice when creating looks and expanding our wardrobes. In the blog post 9 Steps to Defining Your Personal Style, Kat Collings nails down steps for developing your personal style. 

Look to be Inspired.

All you need is a little imagination and maybe some images to inspire you. We have a fun new way to share creative looks that you can achieve by shopping at your local Goodwill. Click here to follow our Look Book for fun and creative new ways to expand your wardrobe and shop for upcoming seasons. The possibilities are endless when you shop at Goodwill. Did you know that each time you shop at our retail stores, the revenue generated is used to support our employment and training programs for individuals with disabilities and other disadvantages?

Eleventh Hour.

As we move into April, Prom season is in full swing. Maybe you have had a tough time finding the right dress at the right price. If so, we have some amazing dresses for you to choose from at our retail locations. We visited our Benson Park location and found designer prom dresses from Rachel Allen, Blush Prom, Sherri Hill, Blondie Nites by Stacey Sklar, and more. We also found some pumps and heels that will knock your socks off, pun intended. Regardless of the look you are going for, we’ve got some gorgeous designer dresses that will remedy your last minute prom night wardrobe crisis.  


Rachel Allen Dress - Mermaid - Prom Look BookBlush Prom Dress - Violet - Prom Look Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to learn more about the programs you are supporting while
perfecting your last minute prom needs.


Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Penny-Pinching for the Perfect DIY Prom Dress

Penny-Pinching for the Perfect DIY Prom Dress

Finding the perfect dress for prom has become taxing. With so many fits, colors, and styles to choose from—it can be difficult to know where to start looking. Oh yeah, lets not forget about that price tag either. As a result, you may not always be satisfied with the hunt of that perfect prom dress. So why not create your own? Learn how to re-purpose a dress into a DIY creation and restore the fun in your prom experience.

What’s in this prom season?

After doing some research, we have put together a list of what you might find to be in style this prom season.

  • Lace Detail and Overlay
  • Pastel Colors
  • Ultra Violet
  • Off the Shoulder
  • High Slits
  • Plunging Necklines
  • Two-Piece Dresses
  • Halter Tops
  • Chiffon

While these may be great suggestions for this season. Don’t be afraid to express yourself and get creative. Think outside the box.

Where to find your dress.

Try Goodwill, no seriously, you would be amazed at the selection of dresses most Goodwill stores have. Frequently visiting your favorite Goodwill retail location will give you an advantage as new product comes in daily. If you have never shopped at a Goodwill before, you’ll probably want to start. You can save your pretty pennies and score some awesome finds. While there are DIY-ers that create their own prom dresses, we suggest repurposing instead of starting from scratch. This will give you a head start in creating your masterpiece. Need some inspiration? Click here to find a gallery of DIY prom dress ideas.

Creating your perfect prom dress.

You may find a dress you like, but may not be quite head over heels for. There’s a solution for that! Do you have sewing skills? If not, try finding a friend who can help you in that area. Adding different materials such as lace and chiffon can create layers and add to the wow factor of your dress. It’s a great way to get the look you are going for without too much work. Not a lover of lace or chiffon? It can be just as easy to remove. You can also use crystals to create a dress that captures and reflects light in all the right places.

You’ll be able to find those supplies at your local fabric or craft store such as: Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. If you are up for a challenge, Wendy gives you a great tutorial on making a custom chiffon dress. You may also want to check out her blog, With Wendy, for more amazing DIY ideas.

Finding the right fit.

If you fall in love with a dress that isn’t your size and needs some updating, don’t fret. Be open to the idea of having your dress tailored. You can expand your selection by doing so. Finding a good tailor may seem tough, but there are plenty of tailors out there who specialize in custom fits. Scheduling a fitting with your tailor before the work begins is also important. Your fitting will give you the opportunity to communicate your vision and build a relationship with your tailor of choice.

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. You might be surprised at what your tailor can do. Communication is key. You want to give your tailor as much direction as possible. As a result of having a custom fit, you can make a statement with your now one-of-a-kind dress that looks and feels custom made just for you. In the blog post What Every Woman Should Know About Looking Better in Clothes Zac Posen says “The right tailoring can make any garment work for any body”. You can follow Zac on twitter for more inspiration.

Share your creation.

We encourage you to share your creations with us! Use the hashtag #PromAtGoodwill if you found your dress, or any part of your ensemble at one our Goodwill Omaha locations. Be sure to tag us at @goodwillomaha for a chance to be featured on our social media pages. At Goodwill, our mission is to change lives and strengthen communities through education, training, and work. When you shop with Goodwill Omaha you are directly supporting our programs and employment services here in our community.


Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Back to School Shopping with the Kids

Goodwill wants to make back to school shopping fun for kids…and parents!

Our Director of Marketing and Development took her children back to school shopping.
Below is her experience at our 180th & Q location!

Back to school shopping is a major process – going from store to store hunting for clothes, shoes, backpacks and school supplies. Not to mention your wallet takes a hit. For the past few years I started planning my back to school shopping a bit differently. Before I shopped at the big box retailers for back to school items, now I make Goodwill my first stop. I start looking for deals on kid’s clothing – because let’s be honest, kids can be quite picky when it comes to finding that perfect outfit for the first day of school. And with kids growing out of their clothes so quickly, it is a challenge to not spend too much by paying full price.

This year we began our back to school shopping at Goodwill on 180th and Q Street. I took my four year old daughter Amelia to look for deals on clothes she can wear to preschool. We found the perfect Justice shirt with a bright pink sparkly A on the front for only $1.59. Now it’s her new favorite shirt! We even had luck finding pants – Old Navy jeans for $2.99 and lounge pants for $1.59.

Of course we couldn’t leave the store without hitting up the toy section.  We walked out with a Disney princess game and a stuffed animal for $1.99 each.

By shopping at Goodwill for back to school clothes, I can feel good about diverting clothes from the landfill as well as saving money for my family.  All while getting really great items that my kids love.

Make Goodwill your first stop for back to school shopping!

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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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Old computers? Recycle them with Goodwill

Technology has been changing so quickly that we find ourselves with piles of older electronics that we do not use. What to do with those electronics? Goodwill has the answer, donate them to be recycled.

In 2016 Goodwill recycled 545,552 pounds of computer and electronics.

Goodwill will accept your residential computers, printers and monitors without charge, regardless of age or condition. Just drop off at any of Goodwill’s convenient donation centers.

What does Goodwill do with your used computer equipment? 

Through our partnership with the Dell Reconnect Computer Recycling Program, Goodwill will accept your residential intact computers, printers and monitors without charge, regardless of age or condition. See our Recycling FAQ tab for more information about Dell Reconnect.

Goodwill’s highly trained staff will safely disassemble the CPUs and sort the various components for responsible recycling, thus eliminating the environmental risk of landfill disposal.

What about security?

We take the privacy of our donors very seriously, and we take great care and concern for all items that may possibly contain customer data. To begin the process, we do ask that people do their best to delete any sensitive information they may have on their computers before donating. Once the computers are in our hands, we undergo a four-step process as follows:

Phase One: Our technicians determine which desktop and laptop computers are viable for refurbishing and which ones are to be decommissioned and used for parts. The units are powered on and checked for defects. Hard Drives and memory are bench-tested for quality.

Phase Two: We secure all systems and hard drives determined to be reusable, as well as any materials that will be sent out for recycling, in a locked area that only the manager and techs have access to until they are processed.

Phase Three: We apply a rigorous three-pass Department of Defense-standard data wiping process to all drives determined to be usable.

Phase Four: We select random hard drives from every wiping session and verify they have no retrievable data on them. Also, every month Dell Reconnect sends an independent auditor to verify that the data on the hard drives has been erased and no personal data remains, and that all our process conforms and exceeds their high standards. Goodwill has passed this audit every month since we started with the program.

Goodwill takes pride in being able to partner with Dell Reconnect to keep electronics out of landfills and do our part in being green.

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Dress to impress!

Your resume is written and up to date, you have worked on your interviewing skills and you got an interview for the job congratulations! What are you going to wear?

Let Goodwill help you find that right outfit at an affordable price! Our stores have a vast selection of professional and business casual work wear.

Depending on the type of position and organization you are interviewing for will determine your interview wardrobe. Here are some examples of what to wear to impress.

  1. Business professional attire

For women:

You can’t go wrong with a blazer, this one is cute and professional. I love the pink with the cream and gold, it just looks trendy but also shows that you can dress for the position. Paired with tailored black slacks, a long necklace and black pumps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total cost: $26.65

For men:

The days of wearing a suit and tie at the office are gone. Most professional men are leaning more towards the button up shirt and slacks. This light gray button up paired with a pair of dark gray pants has a professional look without look stuffy. Add a brown belt and shoes and your turning heads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total cost: $31.06

  1. Business casual

For women:

This cute polka dot print dress pair with a red blazer and black heals shoes off your personality, the pattern shoes that you are fun and a little daring. I love the pops of color in the red belt and blazer, it’s a little bit more casual with the less structured blazer but still professional.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total cost: $20.96

For men:

Who doesn’t love plaid! This plaid button up pair with khaki’s gives you trendy business casual look. Paired with a brown belt and brown shoes the look is complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total cost: $36.06

Goodwill, helping you dress to impress without breaking the bank. Check out one of our 17 stores to see what you can find!

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