Meet the Skills Trainers-Chasity

Hello! My name is Chasity. At Goodwill I have a dual role. I am the skills trainer and the employment specialist in Sioux Falls. As a skills trainer I teach participants the soft skills needed to be successful in the competitive work field. We teach them how to be on time, how to clock in, how to engage properly with their coworkers, and how to stay on track amongst other things. We also teach them how to approach management if they have questions or concerns. Any issues that come up we tackle them together. We are a team.  What I love most is when you see the confidence build in the individuals. It is truly amazing to help be part of someone else’s positive personal growth. It’s so neat to be part of their support team. When you see the participant complete the program and move on to search for competitive employment its very rewarding. I am very lucky to have been given this opportunity to work here. I love what I do at Goodwill.

Who is your hero?

  • Hero: Charles Alderton: Creator of Dr Pepper OR Leslie Knope (Parks and Rec, played by Amy Poehler)

What is your biggest fear?

  • Not being a successful parent to my children.

What is your favorite holiday?

  • Thanksgiving! Because it is all about family, friends and food.

Meet the Skills Trainers-Jerrica

Hello! My name is Jerrica and I work in our Prevocational Services Dept. I help guide and support our program participants in learning and obtaining job skills necessary to prepare for successful and competitive employment.  My favorite part about my job is being able to help our program participants find their strengths and watch them grow once they also see what they are capable of.


If you have 3 adjectives to describe yourself what would they be?

  •    I would say I am passionate, positive and enthusiastic about what I do.


What are you most grateful for?

  •   I am most grateful for my family and music.


What was your favorite subject in school?

  •   My favorite subject in school was history.

Josh’s Outstanding Progress in the Pre-Vocational Program

“Since Josh has been with us he has made huge strides even within the past year. He has come a long way being able to control the way he communicates to people”. Josh has become more productive in his work since he has been with Goodwill,” says Molly, skills trainer to Josh, looking over to him with pride.

One of the challenges that Josh faced in a job was communicating clearly with co-workers and customers. When Josh first started in the Pre-Vocational program he would allow for certain situations to affect his mood. Molly has been working on coping skills with Josh to help with mood swings. These skills have helped Josh become more productive and happier with his work.

Josh loves to work in the store helping customers and producing wares. Josh is proud that he has become successful with Goodwill. Josh has made significant progress going through the program and is currently still working on goals that he wants to achieve which includes working out in the community.

Encouragement Found in Goodwill Pre-Vocational Program

Joey has witnessed crime first hand. She worked in the court system and has had to deal with people coming in and out of the court system. Joey knew that her life was not going to get any better living around this crime, so she made a decision. A decision that she knew would be hard but had to be done for the good of her son.  With her son she moved to Spearfish in search of a better life.

About a year and a half ago Joey tragically suffered from a head injury that caused short-term memory damage. Joey knew that during this difficult time she needed help and support. She moved to Sioux Falls where a friend helped her adjust back to normal life.

Joey was referred to Goodwill’s Pre-Vocational Program to learn how to get back into the job setting. It has been hard for Joey to learn how to do her job and McKenna, Program Manager in Sioux Falls, encouraged Joey to keep trying and learning even when it is difficult. Joey said, “I have had a hard time getting adjusted, but I know who to go to for help. The physical part of the job has been difficult for me, but I am thankful for the encouraging words from Goodwill staff.”

Our Pre-Vocational Program at Goodwill helps train individuals with disabilities and mental illness. Pre-Vocational services are available for up to two years to support additional soft skill development with a goal to become work ready. When you make a monetary donation, donate your goods, or shop in our retail stores you are helping people like Joey work towards becoming work ready.

Deana’s Journey to Reaching Her Dreams

Social anxiety is a condition where an individual has difficulty feeling comfortable interacting with people. Deana had been dealing with social anxiety for years and she didn’t feel comfortable leaving the comforts of her house. Unfortunately, her husband lost his job due to the plant shutting down. There was no income coming in, so they had to do something to put food on the table and a safe home for their goddaughter who they just received guardianship for.

Deana and her husband went to the Department of Human Services to receive assistance during this difficult time. They applied for Food Stamps and they helped her husband get a job. However, to receive this assistance Deana had to enter a Goodwill program. Deana started the Employment Skills Training Program through the South Dakota Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. Deana’s work site was provided through Goodwill.

Deana was nervous about working at Goodwill and didn’t know what to expect. “My first day in the door I didn’t know what to think of these people. I was shy and quiet,” Deana said. After about 3 days into this 6-week program Deana fell in love with Goodwill and the culture. She knew that this was where she was meant to be. After the 6-week period, Deana and the staff knew that she still had areas to improve upon. The program was extended to 12 weeks. Deana didn’t have a problem with this though. She said with positive attitude, “I had nowhere to go but up.”

Family is an important part of her life both at home and at work. “We are a strong family at Goodwill,” Deana said.  Deana believes that coming to work with a great team is everything to her. Deana’s family extends to her customers also. “We laugh and pray together,” Deana stated with joy.

Deana is now in the LEAP UP program working towards receiving her High School Diploma. The LEAP UP program has been a challenge for Deana because she has a learning disability, but Deana is determined to work towards her goals. Deana said gratefully, “I have great plans for my life that I never would have achieved had it not been for Goodwill.”

A chance to succeed is a crucial part of the Goodwill mission. At Goodwill, we give people the resources to create a better life for themselves and their families. Our philosophy at Goodwill is we give people “a hand up not a handout.”  We believe that if people are given the resources to succeed they will be able to become self-sufficient.  We serve many people like Deana who need some assistance with developing job skills. Making a monetary donation is a vital role that you can play in supporting Goodwill programs. These donations are not only tax deductible, but you are helping individuals find employment to reach their goals.