Goodwill Omaha Unveils New South Omaha Training Center
Goodwill Omaha Unveils New South Omaha Training Center The center’s new training programs enhance Goodwill’s workforce development mission
Goodwill’s 15th Retail Store Adjacent to the Training Center—Grand Opening April 1
OMAHA, Neb. (March 28, 2023) — Goodwill Omaha unveiled today a new South Omaha Training Center to further ensure disadvantaged and underserved populations will have access to the resources and tools needed to pursue high-demand, high-wage jobs. The 20,000-square-foot facility at the Stockyards Plaza at 3505 L Street will provide specialized training programs that are free and available to not only residents in South Omaha but to all citizens in Omaha, Council Bluffs, Bellevue and surrounding areas.
Goodwill’s South Omaha Training Center removes financial and accessibility barriers to professional development and career advancement. The new center’s curriculum and training initiatives were developed based on conversations with 13 focus groups whose members included representatives of nonprofit organizations, public schools, community colleges and employers. Potential training center participants also were part of the discussions. They all provided valuable feedback about the specific needs within South Omaha; the training center was designed to meet these needs and fill gaps.
“We are committed to providing equitable access to workforce development solutions, and we’re excited to expand our programming by opening a new training center in South Omaha,” said Tobi Mathouser, President and CEO of Goodwill Omaha. “We’re very grateful for the generosity of the people who visit our Goodwill stores and donation centers. This new facility is a shining example of how the sales of donated goods are invested to help further the lives of many individuals who otherwise would find it difficult to get the types of training and educational opportunities we offer in Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa.”
The South Omaha Training Center will sit in the heart of Goodwill Omaha’s primary service area, a 13-zip-code corridor where the majority of program participants reside. These neighborhoods, where more than 42,000 people are living at or below the poverty line, have also combined to produce just a 74% four-year high school graduation rate. Data shows there is a need for skill development and job training education to help untapped talent realize potential and break cycles of poverty.
“Goodwill Omaha’s new training center in South Omaha is a shining example of how nonprofits are critical to Nebraskans and how they make a difference by finding solutions and serving those in need,” said Anne Hindery, CEO of the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands. “At NAM, we strive to recognize the importance and impact of Nebraska’s nonprofit sector, so we’re delighted to celebrate this milestone moment for Goodwill Omaha and support their efforts to provide life-changing resources.”
Goodwill’s Newest Retail Store at the Stockyards Plaza: Grand Opening April 1
Goodwill Omaha’s newest retail store, adjacent to the new training center, is already one of the leading locations based on number of shoppers daily. After you bring your donations to Goodwill, it is the Goodwill employees who turn your generosity into opportunities that help thousands of people with disabilities and other barriers discover independence. Moreover, in 2022, Goodwill Omaha kept 5.7 million pounds of clothing and textiles out of landfills.
This brand new Goodwill store at the Stockyards Plaza will host a Grand Opening Celebration open to the public April 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The festivities include a free lunch, prize giveaways, face painting and more. The South Omaha Training Center also will be open April 1 for public tours.
Goodwill’s South Omaha Training Center to Start Programs in April
Starting in April, the center’s programs will include workshops and classes that enhance employability skills and increase participants’ knowledge of computers, including Microsoft Office product training. The 18,000-square foot training center will be utilized to expand Goodwill Omaha’s Certified Nursing Assistant program, which also has classes available at its 4805 N 72nd Street and 3505 L Street locations.
Apprenticeship programs will be offered in high-growth, high-demand industries of public and financial services with the goal to expand into many more offerings. These free, state-registered apprenticeship programs include 144 hours of paid classroom instruction and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training. Completion of an apprenticeship program provides a Nebraska Department of Labor recognized credential, which leads to increased economic independence for participants. The apprenticeships train individuals to be an Accounting Technician, Employment Specialist, Customer Service Specialist or Youth Development Specialist.
“The Nebraska Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NHCC) celebrates the expansion of Goodwill to South Omaha,” said Yesenia Peck, President of the Nebraska Hispanic Chapter. “Goodwill is an excellent resource for the South Omaha community, because it creates opportunities for the South Omaha business community and for those who have the opportunity to learn at the training center. The NHCC is proud to have Goodwill as a member of the Nebraska Hispanic Chamber and as an even more present member of our community.”
Dedicated resource navigators will be at the South Omaha Training Center to help individuals make appointments, find bus routes or meet language needs. Intake specialists will oversee cognitive and skills testing and personality profile assessments to determine appropriate career options. In addition, the training center will have extended hours into the evenings and on Saturdays to allow access to those already employed looking to advance their careers, business or learn something new.
The new center offers flexible office space and multiple conference rooms for community groups and nonprofits to utilize. It also features four dedicated classrooms specifically designed to host training sessions and career development classes in an inviting, comfortable and safe setting.
“Goodwill expanding its presence in South Omaha and investing in the community with a new training center is one of the best things they’ve ever done,” said Gina Ponce, Director of Latino Community Outreach at Bellevue University. “An important distinguishing feature of this training center is that there will be bilingual staff on site to help individuals navigate past language barriers and find the best career
path for them. I’m encouraged to see the positive impact of programming that’s accessible and advantageous for an underserviced community.”
For more information on Goodwill Omaha’s South Omaha Training Center, visit goodwillomaha.org or call 531-263-7142.
About Goodwill Industries, Inc. Goodwill Omaha (GoodwillOmaha.org) accepts donated goods to sell in its 15 retail locations which in turn fund mission programs such as job training and placement services to the community. Goodwill changes lives & strengthens communities through education, training and work.
Providing job training and placement services to people with disabilities and other barriers or disadvantages, our programs include: AbilityOne, Apprenticeships, Employability Classes, Employment Solutions, Work Experience, and YouthBuild.
Goodwill Omaha is a private, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit agency governed by a local board of trustees. We’re a member agency of Goodwill Industries International of Rockville, Maryland, and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). For more information about Goodwill Omaha’s programs and locations, please visit GoodwillOmaha.org.