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MCC Partners with Chamber, Mutual, Blue Cross to Train North Omaha Residents

Fall 2008 | Archives

North O Reinvesting in an area isn´t only about soliciting financial resources or constructing new buildings; investing in human capital is as vital to a community´s success. And the North Omaha Development Project (NODP) is doing just that.

The implementation of the North Omaha Customer Service Training Program plans to alleviate workforce shortages while providing sustainable income to unemployed and underemployed residents of North Omaha. The program—the first from the NODP Workforce Taskforce vice chaired by MCC´s vice president of external relations—will identify, train and prepare up to 50 workers for entry into the job marketplace.

So how does this investment in people happen? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska and Mutual of Omaha, the program´s corporate partners, identified a need for customer service employees. Goodwill Industries was selected to recruit and support participants while Metropolitan Community College will coordinate and facilitate the five-month training. Specifically, applicants were recruited from within the boundaries of the NODP, including zip codes 68104, 68110, 68111, 68112 and 68152. Applications were accepted for a one-month window in the summer, and the training program begins Sept. 8 for the accepted applicants.

"Students will be introduced to an insurance-specific customer service operation where they can gain experience in analyzing customer interactions to determine appropriate responses to all types of customer needs and requests. In addition, the participants will be exposed to call center job shadowing, classroom simulated practice and advanced projects to ensure readiness for on-site training in a call center environment," said Randy Schmailzl, Metropolitan Community College interim president.

Once the coursework is successfully completed, the hiring process for both Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska and Mutual of Omaha will begin. For more information on the North Omaha Customer Service Training Program and other initiatives of the North Omaha Development Project, visit www.projectnorthomaha.org.

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