Through a variety of job-seeker and placement services, we help connect individuals with barriers to jobs – at Goodwill and with many other companies as well. Services are geared toward individuals with disabilities, individuals who lack a high school diploma, individuals with a criminal background and job-seekers age 55+.
Services for individuals with disabilities
Goodwill believes every person has value and can contribute. Working empowers and encourages individuals. Our core principles embrace the inherent value of every individual. We have worked with people with disabilities since our founding. Individuals with disabilities, their guardians or job coaches are encouraged to review our current job listings and submit an application.
Goodwill also offers more intensive employment services for persons with disabilities, including Vocational Rehabilition services, Ticket to Work, employer support and more. Click here to learn more about what Goodwill’s Disability Services team has to offer.
Services for individuals with limited education
Many of the employment services and opportunities that Goodwill can help connect job-seekers to require a high school diploma. Adults needing to obtain a diploma should consider attending The Excel Center, Goodwill’s high school for adults. With 11 locations, flexible schedules and more, The Excel Center can help adults earn their diploma and also take next steps toward careers or post-secondary opportunities like 2- or 4-year degrees.
Individuals without high school diplomas can, however, still apply for jobs at Goodwill.
Individuals with criminal backgrounds
Goodwill does offer employment opportunities to individuals with criminal backgrounds, depending on their specific circumstances and the nature of their criminal convictions.
In addition, Goodwill’s Commercial Services division offers the New Beginnings program, which helps ex-offenders successfully re-enter society.
Verdell Evans - GOODWILL EMPLOYEE EARNS A HABITAT HOUSE
It’s apparent within minutes of meeting Verdell Evans that she has a burning desire to succeed. Previously, she was fueled by negative influences and destructive choices. She left home at a young age and used and sold drugs. She was incarcerated twice, serving nearly 18 years in prison. Having fulfilled the terms of her sentence and parole, Evans is now blazing a trail that she had never thought possible.
“In prison, I came to a turning point where I knew I wanted to change and make a difference in my life,” Evans explained. “It was hard at the beginning, starting over. I didn’t have anything, but I didn’t complain. I felt blessed just to be out of prison and working on a new life.”
In November 2013, Evans began working as a janitor at Goodwill’s Westside outlet store. When Evans met Kent Kramer, Goodwill’s Senior Vice President and COO, at a job-readiness focus group, she was homeless, living at a shelter and trying to save money for rent.
“Right away, Verdell stuck out,” Kramer said. “The way she talked about liking her job and being good at it made an impression, so I gave her my business card and a challenge. If she stuck with her current job for 90 days, and if she was in good standing with her attendance, productivity and other benchmarks, we would talk about some next steps.”
Despite the difficult (but welcome) transition from prison and an unstable housing situation, Evans successfully met Kramer’s challenge, so she called him.
“I’d received good reports about her,” Kramer said. “I was impressed. I hand out a lot of business cards, but often don’t get the follow-up. She was one who took the time.”
Kramer connected Evans to Goodwill Commercial Services. She secured a position at the VA Medical Center, where Goodwill has a contract to provide janitorial services. Evans was soon promoted to Team Lead. When their paths next crossed, Kramer asked her if she had found a place to live and what she’d think about owning her own home.
“I’d never owned a home,” Evans said. “I just never thought it would be possible because of the life I was living before.”
Kramer encouraged her to complete an application for Habitat for Humanity. She was nervous about the background check, thinking her criminal history would hamper her approval, but it didn’t.
“The day after Habitat got my application, they told me I was approved!” Evans said. “I was so happy and excited!”
Habitat participants must commit to 300 sweat-equity hours consisting of financial and homeownership classes, and time spent building one’s own home and other homes. Evans moved into her home June 14. Soon after, she hosted friends, family, volunteers who helped with her build and other guests to her home’s dedication.
“I love my house — my favorite part is walking up to the front door and realizing it’s mine,” Evans said.
Evans was recently promoted to Assistant Supervisor at the VA. She wants others to know that there are people and organizations that can help with a fresh start — as long as individuals help themselves by believing and working hard.
“My former life is not even a temptation. Goodwill and Habitat give people like me with a criminal history a chance, and it’s a blessing,” she said.
WOMEN LEAD HABITAT BUILD
A unique, all-women Habitat build this summer was led in part by Zaida Monell, Goodwill’s Vice President for Employee and Organization Development. Monell, a Habitat board member, has helped raise the $75,000 and 300 volunteers needed, including other women from Goodwill. “The all-women build has been a great endeavor,” Monell said. “This home is for a single mom and her son, and I’m excited about it being completed.” Monell also noted how the missions and values of Habitat and Goodwill complement one another, encouraging people toward self-sufficiency.
Services for job-seekers age 55+
Goodwill’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a community service and work-based job training program for older adults who need job training and assistance.
Through community partnerships and the Older Americans Act, the program provides training for low-income, unemployed seniors. Participants also have access to employment assistance through American Job Centers.
To be eligible to participate, you must be:
- Age 55 or older
- Meet income requirement of no more than 125% of the federal poverty level
Federal guidelines prioritize enrollments based on the following criteria:
- Veterans and qualified spouses
- Age 65 and older
- Low literacy skills or limited English proficiency
- Residing in a rural area
- Homeless or at risk of homelessness
- Low employment prospects
I never thought I would work with Goodwill for this long. But, it went by fast. Working here this long has been quite an accomplishment, and I’m proud of it.Nancy Gregory
Wanda Moran - A SCSEP Success Story
Wanda Moran’s story does not have a great beginning. She found herself in a terrible situation, and she didn’t have much hope to improve. Wanda, 61, never had a strong support system of friends or family. After “couch surfing” for years, she was forced to live on the streets. In addition to not having a safe place to live, Wanda was an alcoholic and felt constantly crushed by depression. Wanda decided to make a change. She entered a shelter with Wheeler Mission. Despite family members telling her she would fail, Wanda began leading a stable life. She worked in the kitchen and cooked for other people living in the shelter.
One year later, she was able to get her own apartment and make her bed at the shelter available for someone else who needed it. An employee at the shelter informed Wanda of Goodwill’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). Before she left the shelter, she applied to SCSEP.
“SCSEP has done nothing but good things for me.They gave me the tools to make a good life for myself and showed me how to be proud of who I am” -Sharon Baugh
INDIVIDUALS learn skills that benefit them in any warehouse setting, earn a paycheck, and become better prepared and qualified job candidates.
EMPLOYERS gain access to a pool of qualified job applicants and hire job-ready candidates who have the necessary technical and soft skills to succeed.
New Beginnings provides ex-offenders with an opportunity to get back on track.
The 6-month program focuses on acquiring and developing technical and soft skills through a paid internship at the Goodwill Commercial Services warehouse and production facility.
Once individuals are equipped with the skills needed to build a steady employment history, they’re referred to community-based employment services or hired full-time at Goodwill.
Participants work at Goodwill four (4) days a week, for a total of 40 hours. Specific shift times vary, but will always fall between 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
They attend Career Days on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Case-management services are provided for the duration of the program, and participants’ needs are assessed each month.
- Each participant is assigned an Employee Resource and Development Specialist (ERDS) who provides support and assists with vocational needs.
- The ERDS is responsible for reviewing progress toward goals and ensuring that each participant completes four of the following focus areas:
- Medical/Dental Care
- Financial Skills
- Support System
- Professional/Life Skills
- Full-Time Employment
To be eligible for New Beginnings, individuals must:
- Be ex-offenders, with no work release or jail time remaining. All felony convictions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
- Complete one unpaid Career Day.
- Have reliable transportation or be on a bus route.
- Complete application and submit letters of recommendation.
For more information or to refer a potential candidate, please contact the New Beginnings office at 317-524-3956 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This program gave my life structure. I’ve turned my life around, and now I’m a productive, contributing member of society. For that, I will always be thankful.”Michelle A.
“New Beginnings has been the biggest source of encouragement I have ever had in my life. I have received encouragement in job-related situations and the encouragement to meet and exceed my personal goals.”Lindsey B.
“Goodwill has been an invaluable partner, helping our clients that need a more flexible employment experience and training. The result is a more dynamic, wide-ranging skill set that helps set clients up for success in the future.”Matt Holland
“This is a ‘must-have’ for any individual who wants to improve their life. It improved my life with people skills, career placement and so much more. It’s the best program I have ever participated in. I am so grateful to be a part of New Beginnings.”Cory T.