Marano Fellows Class of 2010

Name: Ginny Powell

Goodwill Industries, Serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa

Location: Omaha, NE
Primary Industry Sector: Customer Service in Banking and Insurance
Type of Organization: CBO

“All of my professional work has been devoted to assisting individuals with barriers gain self-sufficiency. Sector training has shown to be a successful strategy to provide low-income individuals the skills and education necessary to earn a sustaining wage in a satisfying career.”

Organizational Mission: Goodwill changes lives and strengthens communities through education, training and work.

The mission of Goodwill’s sector program, Customer Connect, is Customer Connect provides training, support, and assistance obtaining and maintaining employment to individuals seeking a career in the high growth sector of customer service.

Interest in Sector Work: Customer Connect is based on a business funded pilot program that ended last year. The current sector training is provided through a federal grant to Goodwill. This sector was selected based on business needs and the DOL ranking of Customer Service as a “Hot Job” for the area. The target participants for the program are individuals that are unemployed or underemployed. Case managers work with participants to support them during the training and after hire. The case managers work as resource banks, provide formal instruction at the Community College by teaching the Emplyability Skills class, and provide instruction outside of the college in industry specific skills and basic life skills. On-the-job training reimbursemens are offered to participating busiesses that hire our participants, which encourages the business to "take a chance" on an individual that may not have appeared like a good hire without the provided education and hiring incentive.