Retail Team Member Spotlight

Tracy has worked at the Kiwanis store for 18 years. She loves working at Goodwill and appreciates that she was given the opportunity to be a part of an amazing mission.

“Goodwill has allowed me to meet new people both customers and team members. The people I work with have become family.”

Tracy, Retail Associate, Kiwanis Sioux Falls

Shelby’s Place to Belong

At first, Shelby was shy and hesitant to talk to people when she started Goodwill. Jennifer, Store Manager commented, “Our goal for Shelby was for her to overcome her shyness and we worked with her on a day-to-day basis by doing role play. We worked on her being more comfortable in the store and talking to team members and customers.”

Shelby credits the entire store at Worthington for helping her come out of her shell and be open to asking questions and talking to people. She feels more comfortable now being herself.

Shelby has been with Goodwill for 5 years and has continued to grow and challenge herself. She started out as General Retail Associate, progressed to Team Lead, and is now a Store Operations Leader.

Meeting new people and the variety of the day is what Shelby likes most about working at Goodwill. She likes meeting and talking to the customers that come in and how every day is different. Shelby appreciates at Goodwill there is a learning experience with every situation. Shelby has come a long way since she started and is thankful that Goodwill has helped her grow. Her goals are to become more confident in making decisions and creating a daily routine for each day.

A Dramatic Change in Eli Because of Goodwill Programs

For Eli, the journey he has made with Goodwill has been life-changing. Eli started in the Goodwill Pre-Vocational training program to work on his barriers. One of those barriers was communicating with people in a respectful manner in situations that arise in the workday.  Eli admitted that “it was challenging to stay calm around people when they made me angry.” He worked on this challenge with his skills trainer and Eli is now calmer when a situation makes him angry.

Eli transitioned from the Pre-Vocational program into the Supported Community Employment program. Eli worked at Sears where he enjoyed meeting new people and having the opportunity to work in the community.

Eli was involved in Integrated Day Services during his time with the Goodwill training programs also.  Eli said, “When I first started Integrated Day Services I thought it was a waste of time and I quit Integrated Day Services but when I got a job at Sears I returned to Integrated Day Services. I have made a lot of friends in Integrated Day Services.”

Eli thanks Goodwill for learning how to be humble and how to have a positive attitude because of the training programs he progressed through. Eli is currently on the search for a job and he is interested in welding because it is his dream job.

A Second Chance Makes the Difference for Erica

“I always stayed to myself and didn’t get to know people because I didn’t want them to hurt or take advantage of me”, Erica pointed out about one of the areas she was struggling with at a job before she came to Goodwill. Erica lived in Council Bluffs and was a stay at home mom and Erica admitted that she was led down the wrong path and because of these choices her kids were taken away from her.

To get back on track and have her kids back she knew that a change needed to occur. Erica received help through IHH to get into the Habilitation Prevocational Services and was assigned to work in the Goodwill E-store. Erica worked hard during the Pre-Vocational program to work on her soft skills that included, communicating with people, dressing appropriately, and being on-time.

Erica appreciates the time Goodwill has invested in her. “Goodwill is a good place to work at. I have learned the skills I need to be successful in a job. If someone asks me to do something, I do it instead of having an attitude”, Erica stated proudly. Erica’s goals include, learning how to drive and continuing to work on her communication skills.

An Experience of a Lifetime for Bob

Early in his life Bob proudly served our country for 4 years in the U.S. Navy sailing the east coast. Bob is thankful for his time with the Navy because he was able to “sail the ocean blue.” After his time with the Navy, Bob attended Western Iowa Tech Community College where he studied carpentry.

He received a job in Construction where he worked for a few years before he came to Goodwill in 1977. Bob worked in the production area of Goodwill where he received his first eye-opening experience with Goodwill by learning what Goodwill really does. Bob went back to school and received his English degree with a minor in writing from Briar Cliff University in 2009.

Shortly after Bob saw a job opening at Goodwill in the E-Commerce department, he was hired for the job and has been at Goodwill for 5 years. When asked about what he likes most about Goodwill Bob replied, “I enjoy what I do, and Goodwill is a great place to work. I have made good friends here. Most people just see the Goodwill store but what they don’t realize is that Goodwill is involved in the community by providing jobs to those who have difficulty finding work in the community.”

Bob loves working with the participants in E-Commerce and has learned a lot from working with them.  “It has been an enlightening experience working with the participants and seeing the challenges they face. It leaves me no room to complain, “Bob replied with reflection. Bob participates in chapel where he likes to play his guitar and share his musical gifts.