By: A student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, as part of Heather Nelson's Service Learning
History of Unemployment in North Omaha
Throughout history, the Northside of Omaha was the most diverse in the city. From Rich Businessmen to Struggling families, the divide of the classes was incredibly prominent. Black community leaders were starting to make a difference in shaping Omaha to a better place to create opportunities for those that were less fortunate. Whitney M. Young, Jr was a key figure in this movement of helping people obtain a career. He was famous for leading the Omaha Urban League, that helped organize youth programs and most importantly an employment program that help open doors to careers that African Americans did not have access to before. Young was also a huge advocate for civil right during the 1950s and saw success in reaching people across the nation. Since then opportunities in the job market for African Americans were improved with many black-owned businesses such as grocery stores, banks, restaurants, and many others. Today according to a study in 2015, 3.2% of all Omaha businesses are black-owned. Recently the progress of past leaders were put in jeopardy as the 2020 pandemic caused a huge uproar in the job market. Poverty was running rampant as low-income neighborhoods suffered mass unemployment. Thankfully the North Omaha Recovery Plan in 2022 helped the situation with plans to rebuild our infrastructure, uplift our workforce, invest in high growth businesses, focus on place-based economic development, and fund community-based violence prevention and interruption programs. Even with this plan intact, there are still those who are in need of a job and that is where Heartland Workforce Solutions come in.
What is Heartland Workforce Solutions?
Heartland Workforce Solutions is nonprofit workforce resource founded as part of the American Job Center Network in 2011. HWS makes it their top priority to help prepare and train workers. They act as sort of a matchmaker for you and employers. Here is a list of tasks that HWS do on a daily basis:
Job training: Access to job training services, career counseling, and job listings. Resource rooms: Phones, free internet, and resume writing tools. Employment plan development: Help with developing an employment plan. Job search assistance: Help with finding jobs, including practice interviewing. Labor market information: Information about the labor market and employers in Douglas, Sarpy, and Washington counties. Services for employers: Help with recruiting skilled talent, arranging job fairs, and developing job order requirements. Services for job seekers: Referrals to available job openings, matching job seeker experience with job requirements, and assistance with special recruitment needs. All these services come with no cost to employers or future employees.
David Vaughn, the manager at Heartland Workforce Solution is eager for the 2023 Level Up. Career Fair& Housing Fair. He states that, “Last year's Level Up career fair was a successful event with a great turnout resulting in numerous people inquiring about the employment and training services HWS provides. If you're an employer consider sponsoring the 2023 Level Up Career & Housing Fair.”
About Freedomtainment & the 2023 Level Up Job & Housing Fair:
On Saturday, September 2nd from 11am-4pm at the Gene Leahy Mall, Freedomtainment will host the Level Up Job & Housing Fair for individuals that are ready to "level-up" or step up to a next level job, connect with Omaha area employers and resource providers. For more information and to register for the event, go to: www.tinyurl.com/LevelUpCareerFair
The family-friendly event will include free lunch* and the following activities:
- 12pm: Dance Team Competition by Crown My Crew and music by DJ Chevy
- 12pm-4pm: Free Haircuts by Keelan’s Barbershop (walk-up as available)
- 1, 2, 3 pm: Free Family Fitness Classes in the park by Top Flight Fitness
*while supplies last