Sometimes in our life, there are moments causing us to pause and reflect on what’s next. Shane was struggling to figure out what work he was interested in when he came to Goodwill’s Work Adjustment Training Program. (The Work Adjustment Program is a 6-week program for individuals over 18 years of age teaching soft skill development and employment readiness. The program serves individuals with brain injury, physical injury, cognitive disabilities, and health challenges.)
Shane was mentored by Jill (Program Manager) who helped
him throughout the program with his confidence. Self-confidence is an essential
skill needed for any job. The Work Adjustment Program helps individuals learn
skills such as self-confidence, communication, and being a team player through on-the-job
During his training, he was able to help with the Shoe
and Mitten Party, an event sponsored by Goodwill that ensures each child
received new shoes, hat, gloves, and socks. This event touched Shane’s heart
and fueled his desire to help improve the lives of others.
A boost of confidence happened for Shane in January when
he had the opportunity to work in the Job Center. Shane genuinely enjoyed helping people update
resumes and apply to jobs. Jill explained, “Shane loved having the opportunity
to help others as they were seeking employment in the Job Center. He approached
it with a compassionate spirit. His confidence level definitely improved after
his experience in the Job Center because he improved upon his clerical and
customer service skills.”
The last week of Shane’s training, Stan, Rapid City
Manager offered Shane a position in the store. Shane was excited to accept the
offer and is currently working as a Retail Associate.
Reflecting on his experience Shane replies, “The Work
Adjustment Training Program helped me gain confidence and assurance in myself.
It gave me a purpose. I want to continue helping customers and program
participants. I am looking forward to settling down, finding a home and
enjoying my life”
Congratulations to Debra graduating from register training! Debra was anxious about operating a cash register at first. Christine, Skills Trainer, helped Debra learn coping skills to ease her anxiety. After a few weeks, Debra became more comfortable and learned excellent customer service skills. “She has come out of her shell and built important relationships”, Christine commented about Debra’s progress. Debra works in the Sioux City retail store and continues working hard on her goal of obtaining a community job.
Back Row: Michael
(2018), Renzel (2014), Stan (Store Manager), Alyssa (2018), Frank (2019), Chris
(2017), Kim D (2019)
Front Row: Samantha (Assistant Manager), Pam (2017), Connie
(2020), Kim P (Operations Supervisor), Michelle (2017)
Picture on the Right: Wally (2019)
(Year represents year graduated from Work Adjustment Program)
No one can prepare for life’s rough road. We all stumble at some point and need a helping hand. Everyone deserves a second chance. At Goodwill, we believe in giving a hand up for individuals who might need help getting back on their feet. Rapid City store exemplifies what we stand for and what our mission is. The Work Adjustment program helps individuals who have brain injury, physical injury, cognitive or mental health challenges gain soft skill development to become ready for employment.
Stan, Store Manager, has hired 10 Work Adjustment Program
graduates who are currently working in the retail store today. Stan explains,
“People are loyal and appreciative of the opportunities given. Samantha
(Assistant Manager) and Kim (Operations Supervisor) are all strong supporters
of Goodwill’s mission and provide consistent positive mentoring to each one of
the participants who come through the program.
They work as a team right along with our Mission Services team to ensure
the success of each participant who comes through the program.”
Participants thoroughly enjoy the Work Adjustment Program and believe they have gained confidence, created relationships, and learned new skills. They enjoy having a purpose and a reason to work.
When you believe in someone and what they are capable of,
the sky is the limit! All you need to give someone is a chance.
We all deserve to be respected and treated as a human. This is a basic human right. Denise had a humiliating experience at a former employer. The management yelled at Denise in front of customers and forced her to work on days she wasn’t scheduled. Denise didn’t feel comfortable speaking up and felt her confidence drastically declining. Sadly, this all led to Denise’s mental breakdown.
Denise needed help. She knew she couldn’t be alone in her journey of gaining back her confidence. She was referred to Goodwill’s Pre-Vocational Job Training Program to gain soft skills to become more comfortable working a job in the community.
“At first, Denise was nervous,” Christine, Skills
Trainer, observed. She was assigned to scanning books in E-Commerce. After a
few weeks, Denise started making strong connections to fellow participants. They
were able to relate to past experiences and common interests. Denise knew she
found her support system.
A few weeks ago, Denise was asked if she would like to
work at the reception desk, answering the phone and greeting visitors. Denise
agreed. She was excited, but anxious about starting something new. Denise knew
she needed to find a way to cope with her anxiety and nerves. That day, Denise
wore a necklace that had her brother’s ashes. “My brother was the bravest
person I knew. He battled sickness with strength until he passed away. If he can be brave, I can be brave too”,
proudly stated Denise. At the end of the day, Denise had the biggest smile on
her face and knew her brother was with her.
One of Denise’s goals is to pursue her passion for
photography. Denise loves photography. The feeling she receives when she crafts
the perfect photo is indescribable to her.
Denise operated her photography studio for 20 years and attended the New
York Institute of Photography online. She is dedicated to her passion and wants
to continue pursuing photography in the future. “When I complete the program, I
want to apply for an e-commerce position. I will be able to pursue my passion
and work with people I have strong relationships with”, she exclaimed.
Denise appreciates the support she has received throughout the Pre-Vocational Job Training Program. “Goodwill has helped me in many ways. I have gained my confidence back and have learned how to communicate and speak up for myself,” explained Denise about the significant impact Goodwill has had on her life.
Corey was a
hard-working, licensed car insurance agent for 15 years when she heard the
heartbreaking news that shook her world. Her mom had cancer. Corey’s mom meant
everything to her. Corey needed to decide, would she keep working or take care
of her mom? It was an easy decision for Corey. She would stay with her mom and
be her support system through this difficult time.
Three years later, Corey lost her mom to a hard-fought battle with cancer. Corey was devastated. “Losing an immediate family member was hard for Corey. She couldn’t gain control and spiraled,” explained Christine, Skills Trainer. “It was a difficult time for me,” Corey acknowledged. To cope with losing her mom, Corey resorted to alcohol. Corey knew she needed help and couldn’t do this on her own. She started therapy and was in recovery when she was referred to Goodwill.
Corey was anxious on her first day of training in the
Pre-Vocational Job Training Program.
This program offers services for individuals with disabilities or mental
illness to support additional soft skill development. Corey had doubts if she would be successful
because of her gap in employment. “I was excited to work but I was nervous,”
reflecting on her first day of training. Encouragement and support from the
entire Goodwill team gave her the courage to carry on.
Corey excelled during the training and was quickly moved from scanning books to reception. After a few weeks, she started working in the store stocking clothing. Vickie, Sioux City Store Manager, noticed Corey’s excellent work ethic. “She is dependable and reliable. If I give her a project, she completes it to the highest level. She makes a difference to me and the team.”
Recently, Vickie asked Corey into the office to ask her an
important question. “I have an opening for a Team Lead. Would you like to be my
Team Lead? You have the characteristics I am looking for and I would love for
you to join us.” Corey didn’t hesitate for a second. She knew she wanted to
continue working at Goodwill and be a part of something she is passionate
If you walk into the Sioux City store today, you will find
Corey with the biggest smile on her face. Her positive energy is contagious,
and her optimistic attitude inspires us to believe anything is possible and to
never let the past define who you are.