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Goodwill Mission Stories

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“Fantastic” is the word Justin used to describe his Greenhouse Staff position with BGC Growers. Justin, who has a learning disability, explained that his passion for horticulture began when he was attending Shepherd’s College. He loved being able to work outside with plants and soil and said that working behind a desk was not for him. Upon his graduation from Shepherd’s College in May 2022, Justin took the first step in achieving his dream job by connecting with his Department of Workforce Development Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) Counselor.

As a first step towards reaching his employment goal, DVR referred Justin to Goodwill’s Benefits Program where Jenny Holcomb, a Goodwill Benefits Consultant, verified the financial benefits he was receiving with Social Security and the Department of Health Services. She wrote a detailed benefits analysis report for Justin, explaining how working, and earning a regular income, could affect his benefits. The Benefits Analysis Report offered Justin understanding, so he was able to take the next steps and move forward with his work goal.

Justin stated that he was extremely eager to begin working in the horticulture field after graduation. “I needed something to do with my life, to be part of society,” he explained.

The horticulture field can be a tricky field to break into, especially in the fall when many greenhouses are slowing down for the fall/winter season, however, Goodwill’s Supported Employment Job Developers, Shauna Binsfeld and Sarah Sheeks, jumped into action and started looking for Justin’s dream job. They very quickly connected Justin with BGC Growers.

Justin interviewed for a greenhouse staff position and impressed the company with his education and passion of the horticulture field. Justin was offered his dream job and started working on September 15, 2022. BGC Growers is keeping Justin busy with planting bulbs and caring for poinsettias. Justin and his mother stated that they are very thankful to Goodwill for helping find that diamond-in-the-rough job for Justin. He is looking forward to many years of success, working in a field that he loves.

Mission Support Center
Tel: (414) 847-4200

James O. Wright Center forWork & Training
Tel: (414) 353-6400

Metropolitan Chicago -
Tel: (312) 994-1440