- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A federal program administered by Goodwill has helped thousands of Omaha-area job seekers polish their resumes, learn skills, and pursue degrees and jobs.

The Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1NIoaXE ) reports that Goodwill WorkOpps is a free federal program that helps adults find full-time employment. Since 2011, more than 90 percent of the estimated 1,000 participants have left the program with a job or a degree.

The program, which used to be known as the Adult Career Services Program, was started in the mid-1990s and was taken over by Goodwill in 2011.

Goodwill partnered with the Labor Department and its Rapid Response team, which is usually deployed in cases of large-scale layoffs, to administer the program.

“They do the unemployment part of it, and we do the supportive services part of it. We have the funds to help people with schools, clothes and other things,” said program coordinator Holly McElhatton.

Those who participate in the program must take placement tests to evaluate their math and English skills, and then they commit to the 12-month intensive program. They meet with a caseworker at least once a month and select health care, skilled trades, IT, financial services or transportation logistics as a career track.

WorkOpps, which is short for Working Opportunities for Adults, is funded through the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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