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Meeting with job seekers 'where they are at'

Posted by Annette DiZinno on November 14, 2019

Over the past few months, I’ve had the good fortune to attend several events discussing the impact of trauma and poverty, and all its ramifications. My work with the Goodwill Workforce Connection Center Community Access Points is focused on helping people gain employment. But when individuals face homelessness or other aspects of trauma, getting a job is an even more difficult task. The path for any job seeker is daunting; yet when you combine episodes of domestic abuse, not knowing if you will have a place to sleep or clothing for an interview, the challenges seem insurmountable. Fortunately, there are several community agencies addressing these needs.

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Another Spectacular Capstone Event on the Books

Posted by Nailah Reed on October 31, 2019

Goodwill’s Community Access Foundation Track (CAFT) is a training program that can support individuals in reaching their goals of community employment and connection. This training is provided through community exploration with tours, volunteering and guest speakers. Additionally, classroom instruction and hands-on skill practice is also utilized.

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Building Brighter Futures with the Help of the YMCA

Posted by Guest on September 30, 2019

Both Goodwill and the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee have deep roots in the Milwaukee area. This year Goodwill celebrates its 100 year anniversary, while the YMCA has served Milwaukee for 161 years. Both organizations’ missions are focused on inclusion, empowerment, and equity for all and by teaming together they have created new opportunities for positive impact in the community. You can see this firsthand when you enter any of the three YMCA branches and witness a Goodwill volunteer greet you from behind the desk. Community Access Intermediate Track trainees work alongside YMCA staff to scan guest cards, provide keys, fold towels, play with children in the Kid Zone, clean fitness equipment, and more.

YMCA staff and guests have always welcomed volunteers with open arms, while offering them the chance to gain confidence and skills related to communication, customer service, teamwork, problem solving, and so much more. Last year four Goodwill trainees completed a four-month volunteer rotation. As a result, three of those four individuals are currently employed! YMCA staff were able to attend the 500 Jobs Celebration that took place last October to commemorate these and other successful hires. Community Integration Specialist Karen Kiley said, “The YMCA is a family and by making our volunteers part of that, they are providing an environment where growth happens, independence is achieved, and people thrive.”

This past June, five new volunteers started their rotation and are learning something new every day. One volunteer, Sandy, discovered that her favorite part of the experience so far is the people. “Everyone is so nice and welcoming,” she said. This year the agencies are continuing to further develop their partnership by exploring new ways to engage Goodwill trainees through fitness classes, health and wellness programs, and presentations from YMCA staff about topics such as professional behavior and customer service.

Shanee’ Jenkins, Vice President of Social Responsibility and Strategic Partnerships for the YMCA said, “We recognize that by bringing neighbors together to advance the common good, we can improve lives and strengthen communities.” Goodwill and the YMCA are proud of the impact that they have had over the last century of service, but their work is far from done. We look forward to even greater positive influence in the future and to celebrating diversity, connection, and achievement for all!

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Success Stories are found across Goodwill

Posted by Julie Deming on August 29, 2019

When you ask most consumers what is Goodwill, the most popular answer you will hear will speak to the retail store. As leaders in retail, we understand this and strive daily to serve as positive brand ambassadors for Goodwill, providing great experiences for the millions of customers who come into our stores annually. One thing most customers and even many employees don’t realize is that our retail stores serve as places where mission services flourish as well. There are so many employee success stories that have occurred because of the mission-centered work happening across every retail location including stores, ecommerce and supply chain operations.

For example, every store has a dedicated Goodwill Way Guide who assists employees with supportive services to help them become more successful at work and at home. Just this year alone, Guides have provided over 500 points of assistance to our retail teams enabling them to be more successful.

Across the retail network, store partnerships with organizations like Boys and Girls Club, Project SEARCH, Patheon, Harrigan and DVR help youth and adults with disadvantages and disabilities learn job skills and realize achievement through working retail jobs.

Also, Goodwill’s training programs allow employees to learn marketable skills they can leverage in their retail roles and beyond such as forklift training and leadership training through the Career Path program. From my vantage-point, it’s an exciting time to work in a retail store for many reasons:

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Appreciating my time as a job coach

Posted by Caley Kiser on August 14, 2019

When I first started shadowing my co-workers to learn how to job coach I remember one question that always came to my mind, “How do you know what technique to use when coaching or what exactly to do?” Later, I learned for myself that job coaching is not something that comes with a manual but something that each individual coach will just instinctively pick up after building a relationship with each individual.

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