Goodwill launched EmpowerOne in 2017, with a goal to provide a network of services that would allow individuals with disabilities to follow their own path to employment in the community. The program offers a range of services individuals can choose from to fit their goals including soft skill building, on-the-job training, and connection to community employment opportunities. Luis’s story is one that exemplifies this journey.
Luis first joined Goodwill Day Services in 2011 after graduating from high school. When EmpowerOne launched its foundational skill building track, he was among the first small group of individuals who transitioned into the program. Luis had expressed the desire to have a job in the community but was not fully equipped with the skills he needed to be successful. EmpowerOne provided Luis with opportunities to explore different vocations and develop a variety of work and independent living skills such as cooking and money management, as well as soft skills including problem-solving and building self-esteem.
Luis learned and practiced a wide variety of job skills – from food preparation and gardening, to grocery clerking and laundry care. Aside from what he learned in training, Luis also spent time in the community volunteering and practicing skills such as table service, stocking shelves and cleaning. Luis has completed two on-the-job training rotations and is finishing up his final training in general office work. Through these experiences, he is learning new employment skills and is one step closer to achieving his goal of having a job in the community.
“Luis’s strengths and skills have matured as he has developed new confidence in himself,” shared Stephanie, an EmpowerOne instructor. “His goals became clearer through job exploration and his communication skills improved. Aside from his positivity, friendly disposition and great sense of humor, Luis demonstrates many character traits which will make him an excellent employee and natural leader. Any employer ought to be thrilled to have this young man on their team!”
Click here to learn more about Goodwill's EmpowerOne programs.