Jobs...Omaha Center Helps Foster Youth Find Them

By: Leah Uko OMAHA (KPTM) - For many foster kids, finding their first job isn't easy. Starting Monday, a program aimed at helping foster youth land jobs will be held at the Heartland Workforce Solutions American Job Center. The Project Employment Program, hosted by Project Everlast and Goodwill Industries, covers how to create a resume and cover letter, interviewing techniques, dress code and other skills people need in order to enter and stay in the workforce. Sierra Johnson attended the first session. The 20-year-old aged out of the foster care system before turning 18 and has been working in the retail and food industries since, but wanted to branch out and land a job as a receptionist. "I could never ask my mom or my dad how they got jobs because they don't have careers," Johnson said. Staff with Project Employment work with foster youth because they often face challenges with knowing how to research jobs they might be eligible for. "Project Employment will provide smaller training groups which will allow for more direct attention on resume and question/answer sessions," Goodwill's Career Services Coordinator, Megan Sharpe said. Project Employment is a five-day job training program that will be held during the last week of every month from noon to 4:30 p.m. at 5752 Ames Avenue. Walk-in appointments are accepted, but individuals need to prove they are or were in the foster system. This can be proven by presenting their social security number or providing proof of working with a community program. Johnson said the requirements should not discourage anyone from attending the session because what they will learn will only benefit them in the long-run. "If you feel like you're not going to find anything or you're not very positive about it, you're not going to be open to many opportunities," she continued. "You kind of do have to look anywhere."