August 28, 2023

Goodwill Omaha Unveils New Training Center and Programs for Youth

Goodwill Omaha Unveils New Training Center and Programs for Youth

Goodwill Industries Inc. (Goodwill) unveiled today a new Northeast Omaha training center and programming to offer underserved populations access to the training resources needed to prepare youth for real-life education and to offer a career-based apprenticeship that leads to meaningful employment in high-demand jobs in the field of youth development serving after-school programming in Omaha.

Goodwill’s primary service area is a 13-zip-code corridor known as East Omaha, where the majority of program participants reside. In these neighborhoods, more than 42,000 people are living at or below the poverty line, which has also combined to produce just a 74% four-year high school graduation rate. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the youth poverty rate in this service area is 63.4%, and the youth unemployment rate is 14.5%. These rates far exceed the State’s (10.8% poverty rate, 2.6% unemployment), posing a threat to future economic growth in our community.

Through focus groups with community partners, Goodwill verified a need to expand access to free programs to youth exiting high school with no career plan and to provide skills-based training to youth as early as middle school age.   

Goodwill will utilize its newly acquired facility at 1021 N 46th Street to provide middle-school and high-school after-school outreach programming. The program outreach objectives focus on age-appropriate life-skill sessions such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration, decision-making, problem-solving, employability skills, and teamwork. These skills apply to life decisions as they balance the demands of peer pressure.

By getting involved early, teenagers interact and collaborate with adults and peers in community organizations that encourage teenagers to see the world in different ways. It also helps them see how to put values or beliefs into action for the good of others.

“We are committed to providing equitable access to workforce development solutions, and we’re excited to expand our programming to inspire youth and prepare them for future growth,” said Tobi Mathouser, President and CEO of Goodwill Omaha.

The new Goodwill northeast center will offer a Youth Development Specialist apprenticeship program. Apprentices receive a $10.50 hourly wage for their training time and perform 2,000 hours of on-the-job training at various community partners’ after-school programs.

Goodwill’s South Omaha Training Center which opened in April 2023 offers apprenticeship programs for Accounting Technicians, Employment Specialists, and Customer Service Specialists. All apprentices completing the required hours will receive a Nebraska Department of Labor recognized credential and the necessary skills to step into several high-demand jobs.

Goodwill has provided community programs for 90 years. The program funding comes from many sources, including private funding, grants, foundation support, and profits from retail sales.

For more information or to enroll in classes or programs visit the program tab on the website at