For this weeks blog I want to share another success story of my co-worker’s participant, Samantha.
Samantha came to Goodwill seeking help finding a job. Through Goodwill’s Placement Program, Samantha learned resume building, interview skills and job searching skills that enabled her to find employment and succeed in her goals. She learned tips on following up with applications and contacted potential employers in the community.
Samantha is a food service worker at CoCo Key’s Water Resort at the Clocktower Hotel. Samantha is doing well and also secured a second part time job at Culver’s. Samantha learned the jobs very quickly and has inquired about a promotion at the Clocktower. She is able to run the concession stand independently and be accurate with the cash handling and all of the duties.
Samantha is happy and excited to be working at CoCo Keys and Culver’s. She feels good about making extra money and having her own money to do things that she wants to do. She is feeling more independent from her parents.
Before coming to Goodwill, Samantha had been out of work for a year. Now that she is working, Samantha feels more independent and likes having extra money. Having overcome anxiety, depression and other physical limitations that Samantha has been diagnosed with, and thriving in the workforce, Samantha has proven to herself that she is a success!
This week I want to highlight another participant success story. Ashley recently reached her 90-day probation period at her job which means that she successfully completed Goodwill’s Placement Program! It is always exciting, as an Employment Specialist, to see a participant reach their employment goals and to come so far from their first meeting, which is why I like to share their success.
When Ashley was diagnosed with Epilepsy she was told that finding and maintaining competitive employment would be difficult if not impossible. Ashley has seizures and difficulty with following instruction which is why she was told she would need on-the-job coaching in order to be a success at any job she did get. During high school Ashley let this obstacle hold her back after graduating, but with the help of her DRS (Department of Rehabilitation) Counselor and the Epilepsy Foundation, Ashley joined the Goodwill Placement Program with the goal to find employment and contribute to the workforce.
“My Placement Specialist taught me hard work, goal setting and achievement, as well as resume and skill building which helped me find my job,” said Ashley. With the skills that she received and her determination Ashley was able to find a job working as a Crew Member at McDonalds. Ashley was able to learn her job and work with her co-workers without a job coach on site, though she did use her support group as needed.
With her job she said she is able to earn money for herself for the first time, go out more with friends and feel less guilty by taking the burden away from her mom by having to pay for everything. Congratulations Ashley!
Each week my co-workers and I here at Goodwill facilitate group discussions for Job Seekers with disabilities, highlighting a variety of work-related topics and job seeking skills in order to help individuals obtain employment. One topic that comes up a lot is changing career paths or job interests and having little to no experience in that field, or having the experience but being afraid to make the switch.
This is a problem that anybody can face, with or without a disability, and it can be very intimidating, especially during a hard economy or uncertain job market. My advice to people is always keep your options open and that it never hurts to try. Also be sure to use transferable skills, because the responsibilities you had in your last job can usually be related in some way to the job you want to go for. You just have to find the right way to put it on your resume.
This week, I wanted to share another success story of one of Goodwill’s Placement Program participants as given by her Employment Specialist, Anne Gulotta. Mary came to Goodwill looking for a change and with the right tools and motivation she was able to find it.
Mary had to change her career path from cake decorating to clerical due to physical limitation. She came to Goodwill seeking help finding a job and assistance with updating her computer and clerical skills. Through Goodwill’s Placement Program and Clerical Training Program, Mary learned the skills that she needed to be successful in her job search and to be a success in the clerical field. Mary said that she learned office skills, computer training, job seeking skills, resume writing skills and interviewing skills and that all of these helped her to secure a job through the U.S. Census Bureau.
Mary is working as a Field Representative for the U.S. Census Bureau. Mary enjoys doing this type of work and the flexibility that her work schedule allows.
Mary is happy to be doing survey work. She feels good about making extra money which in turn helps her pay her bills. Before coming to Goodwill, Mary had been out of work for several years and was at a crossroad in her career. Mary needed to seek out a different career path because she was unable to do the type of work that she had done in the past due to physical limitations. Mary said that the “training that I received in the clerical training and the skills in the Seeker Sessions and Placement Program has been extremely helpful.”
This week I want to highlight the success of one of my participants:
Laura came to Goodwill for placement services after working as an interpreter for a hospital for 18 years. She was laid off because times were changing and with the demands of new technology and the computer age. Laura found that she couldn’t keep up since she did not grow up with the knowledge and skills that many young people today do.
When Laura first came to Goodwill and started looking for a job she was taught how to navigate the internet, to increase her typing speed, the basics of working a computer, interview skills, how to apply for a job, how to handle difficult work situations and work readiness skills. Laura has always worked and dedicated her time to family and taking care of others. She quit school after the sixth grade to take care of her family and was concerned about finding another job.
“Goodwill lent me a shoulder when I needed one and was wonderful to me,” said Laura. “My spirits are up again. I was very depressed before and didn’t want to do even the smallest thing. Now I am ready for anything.”
Through Goodwill’s placement services program Laura was able to search for work and had her first job interview. With a lot of hard work and determination Laura found a job working as an interpreter and trainer at the Workforce Connection Center. She is also helping individuals with resumes and the computers in the lab, using the skills taught to her.
“Trust in Goodwill and they will be able to help you find your way. After loosing my job I thought I was going to go crazy; Goodwill is the reason I am working again. They helped me find my purpose.”
This week I want to share a success story from one of our participants so that others have the opportunity to be inspired and see what hard work and determination can do.
Matt came to Goodwill in order to participate in the Clerical Skills Training program. After graduating from the class he began working with an employment specialist to find a job, learn interviewing skills, how to better market himself to employers and expand his job search skills. The biggest impression that Matt made on the staff at Goodwill was his eagerness; he came three to four times a week and worked in the open lab, in addition to his meetings with his employment specialist, in order to seek out and apply to new job opportunities.
I have seen a lot of people dedicated to finding a job, but few as determined as Matt.
Having a previous misdemeanor and being diagnosed with a disability such as schizophrenia—limiting functions such as work, interpersonal relations or self-care—would be challenging for many people, but for Matt it was a challenge that he was determined to face head on so that he could become a contributing member of the workforce.
Matt had many job interviews and was finally able to obtain a job at a local manufacturing company this summer. Though he was hired on temporarily, Matt took the job seriously and through his hard work and by showing his reliability and strong work ethic, he was offered a full time position within the organization.
For Matt, “working is a way of life and it feels great to be out in the workforce and making my own money.” Matt was able to resolve some of his bills and can now support himself with the money he earns. He stated that the staff at Goodwill are great and played a large role in enhancing his life. The true success, however, goes to Matt for overcoming the barriers and showing dedication to obtaining his goal.
His is a great success story and he should be proud of it. I look forward to seeing many more like Matt here at Goodwill!