In 1992 Roger was working on getting his GED through the Marion City Schools and was seeking employment. Barriers including reading, lack of soft skills and transportation were making it difficult for him to find a job. His GED instructor introduced him to Goodwill and he was given the opportunity to work a few hours a week doing customer pickups. After seeing Roger’s potential and enthusiasm, he was offered a part-time position at the Corporate Warehouse & Distribution Center doing various tasks. As Goodwill grew, so did Roger’s hours and skills. It was not long before he was offered a full-time position with the company.
Throughout his career at Goodwill, Roger was a truck driver, helped with mowing and snow removal, and worked with the maintenance staff when needed. He has raced in our Wheel-a-Thon numerous times and has waved enthusiastically during the Marion Popcorn Parade! Roger has participated in both our Housing Program and Wheels-to-Work Program. Through his employment with Goodwill Roger has gained the self-confidence and self-sufficiency needed to be successful.
After 24 years of employment with Goodwill, Roger felt that he had enough experience and knowledge to move to another organization. He is currently working in the maintenance department at Walmart. You can still find Roger racing at the Wheel-a-Thon and helping Goodwill when needed.
Saintania grew up in an orphanage in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti and moved to American in January of 2010, when an earthquake devastated her country. Language and culture have been the biggest barriers Saintania has had to face outwardly. The inward barriers she has faced however, were far bigger; abandonment, loss, destruction of her very identity, as well as learning what it meant to belong to and in a family.
Saintania was referred to Goodwill by Marion Connections. She was in need of some training including soft skills and job seeking skills. Her employment specialist helped her search for available positions, create a resume, complete applications and prepare for interviews.
The thought of looking for a job made her nervous and happy at the same time. Nervous about the new beginnings and making mistakes, but happy to have the opportunity to work and to be able to move toward her dreams.
Now, she has a job doing things she never thought possible, like working the front counter, working on the food line, and training others. Because others took a chance on her and saw her value, she dares to hope and dream to become a manager and maybe someday own her own business.
Jay is an educated man who owned a successful business. His brothers were both addicted to heroin and, in an unsuccessful attempt to save them, he sold his business. In the process, he spent all of his money and ended up homeless.
Before coming to the Goodwill Education & Training Center, Jay was walking the streets looking for food and money, just surviving. He had health issues and lost everything he had when the place where he was squatting caught on fire. He knew it was time for a change. Because of the relationship that Jay had built with Sherry, Goodwill Employment Specialist, we became aware of Jay’s situation.
Through our Senior Community Service Program (SCSEP) we were able to help Jay update his job skills, get some on-the-job training and find employment with a non-profit organization. We were also able to get Jay into an apartment through our Affordable Housing Program.
The SCSEP program is designed to help older Americans, like Jay, build work experience and confidence and continue to have economic stability and well-being.
Kristen was a participant in our Opportunity Plus Program (OPP). This program provides transitional to permanent employment opportunities to individuals with employment barriers. Due to an injury, Kristen had a time lapse in her work history, making it difficult for her to find employment. She was referred to Goodwill by her caseworker at Job & Family Services.
Kristen was placed at the Goodwill Warehouse & Distribution Center. She worked in several different departments giving her the opportunity to broaden her experience. She sorted and processed textiles, books and shoes, cut rags and packaged hoses. Her confidence and work skills improved daily. She was gaining valuable work experience, developing a work history and now had a current job reference.
When a permanent position became available at Goodwill, Kristen was interested in interviewing for the job. Because of her participation in the OPP Program, she now had a positive work history, relevant experience and she was offered the job. She is doing very well in her current position, earning a paycheck, helping out financially in her household, and saving money for the future.
Dakoda came to Goodwill through our partnership with OhioMeansJobs. He is a participant in the Marion County Youth Employment Program. The goal of this program is to provide youth (ages 16-24) valuable work experience while earning a paycheck to meet basic needs. The program offers the opportunity for youth, such as Dakoda, to develop a work history and have a current reference from an employer. Goodwill is responsible for placing the youth at job sites, as well as providing training, job coaching and mentoring.
Dakoda was first placed at the Goodwill Warehouse & Distribution Center. He had an ankle injury and was given the task of sorting and bagging hoses, a job he could do sitting down. After his ankle healed, Dakoda was placed at Willy & Wade, a locally owned retail store. This was a good fit because Dakoda had grown up around his family’s business, a local candy shop.
Dakoda enjoys his job at Willy & Wade. He does a variety of jobs including sales, design work, shipping & receiving, and opening/closing the store when needed. He has a passion for business and is looking forward to graduating from high school this year.
Richelle began her journey with Goodwill in 2007. She was hired as an Assistant Manager / Visual Coordinator and was instrumental in opening both our Sunbury and Powell retail locations. She held various positions in our organization and was on her way to a successful career with us, when in 2010 Richelle’s life took a drastic change.
Her youngest daughter, who had struggled with drugs since the age of 14, became addicted to heroin. She was taken into custody and Richelle was given the task of taking care of her young granddaughter. Because of this she felt like she had no choice but to quit her job at Goodwill.
After years of struggling financially she turned to Job and Family Services (JFS) for food assistance and was placed on a job program to work 30 hours a week. She was told by JFS that she would receive a letter about where she would be placed for employment. Much to Richelle’s surprise she was placed at Goodwill. At that moment she felt like she was given a second chance.
She began working in the warehouse, sorting items to go to the retail stores, and after a short period of time she was introduced to our Opportunities Plus Program. This program provides transitional to permanent employment opportunities for individuals with employment barriers.
After completing the program, she was rehired as a full time employee. She was traveling to various stores in our district and helping wherever needed. Richelle was able to finance a car through our Wheels-to-Work program and could afford to move into her own apartment with her granddaughter. Things began to look up for Richelle and not long after moving, her granddaughter was reunited with her mother, and Richelle was able to focus on her career once again.
Currently she is overseeing our new East Warehouse project and was given the opportunity to train young people through our Summer Youth Program.
Dawn graduated from the University of Akron with an associate’s degree in American Sign Language (ASL). After college, she worked as an interpreter before she saw that Goodwill was hosting open interviews and she thought she would try something new. She has worked at our Delaware store for the past five years.
Dawn has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Symptoms of PDD can include problems with using and understanding language, difficulty with relating to people and difficulty with changes in routine.
The management staff and her job counselor work with Dawn on getting to work on time, staying on task, and stress management. This helps improve her work skills and gives her the confidence she needs to be successful at her job.
Dawn is a great employee. She is versatile and can now work wherever needed in the store. She has a willingness to learn and has set herself a goal to become a department head.
The goal of our Summer Youth Program is to provide youth valuable work experience while earning a paycheck to help meet basic needs. The summer employment program offers the opportunity for youth to develop a work history and have a current reference from an employer. Goodwill, in collaboration with Marion County Job & Family Services, is responsible for placing the youth at job sites, as well as providing training, job coaching and mentoring.
When first beginning the youth program, Casey had no self-confidence; he was very quiet and had a difficult time communicating with others. Since going through the program and working with his job coach, as well as his work supervisor, he now has no problem communicating with others, which boosts his self-esteem and gives him a confidence that shows.
Casey started the youth program his senior year at Rushmore Academy and he graduated in May, 2016. His first job assignment was with the Downtown Marion work crew. He took great pride in making downtown Marion look nice for the community and for visitors. On this site he learned that it is great to have fun on the job, but that you have to find ways to have fun and still get the job done.
He was then given the opportunity to work at STAR Turbine; this opportunity has turned into permanent employment. At STAR he has learned that being on time and being reliable is important. He realizes that people are depending on him to be there and that they expect him to do his job and to do it well. Casey stated that he now understands the value and the pride and happiness that comes with doing your best.
STAR supervisor, Jason, has said that Casey has been a great worker, has learned skills and tasks much quicker than other employees, and is always eager to learn more and do more. He is very reliable and independent, and Jason is proud to have Casey on his team.
Amy loves interacting with and getting to know people. Her job at our Delaware store allows her to do just that.
After graduating from Delaware Hayes High School, Amy did landscaping work and was employed at Walmart, but through Alpha Group’s employment service, Ergon, Amy was able to find a great fit for employment at Goodwill. She has been employed at the store for six years.
Amy has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which makes it harder for her to concentrate. The Goodwill staff made accommodations in her schedule and the length of her shifts; otherwise no other accommodations had to be made.
Amy excels at customer service. She is willing to answer the customers’ questions; if she doesn’t know the answer, she is willing to get the answers from our management staff.
Aunaycia was a participant in the Harding XL(expanded learning) program that we partner with through the Marion City Schools. Goodwill provides job readiness classes that prepare the students for employment success. The classes are tailored to assist students with the beginning fundamentals needed for seeking and maintaining employment. Topics include filling out job applications, creating resumes and interviewing skills.
After successfully completing the classes provided, Aunaycia felt as if she learned a lot of new things, such as how to dress for an interview. Her job site during the school year was at an elementary school. Through this placement she learned that she loved to work with children, and is now enrolled in a new early childhood training program at Harding High School.
Aunaycia worked at one of our retail stores through Opportunities for Ohioans’ with Disabilities Summer Youth Work Experience Program. At the store she has learned how to follow policies and procedures, as well as other skills needed to be employed at a retail store. Aunaycia has gained more self-confidence when trying new things and is excited about the opportunities she now has.
Aunaycia enjoys singing, dancing, and playing instruments. She would love to find employment as a music teacher to teach young children, and as a performer to entertain people.
Beth is no stranger to hard work or hard times. Emancipated at 16, she dropped out of school to work two jobs to support herself. By age 24, she was tired of struggling at minimum wage jobs to provide for her family, which had grown to include a husband and young son.
Still, nothing prepared her for a police raid on her house where her uncle was arrested and ultimately sent to prison for life. Her 18-month-old son witnessed police coming in the house with guns drawn and dogs searching her house. She didn’t want him to ever have to go through that again.
She looked at her family and realized that few of them had graduated high school and many had ended up in poverty. Beth knew she needed to do something to change her situation. She entered the free Marion ABLE (Adult Basic & Literacy Education) program to prepare for the GED tests. She finished the ABLE classes in a few months, passed the GED tests in 2010, and won a scholarship to Marion Technical College. This determined mom double-majored in Business Management and Human and Social Services. She interned at Goodwill, and this internship turned into a job.
Beth now has a full-time job, her family (which now includes a daughter) is no longer struggling, they are no longer on welfare benefits, and they now own their own home. After several promotions, Beth is now a grant coordinator. She manages Goodwill’s grants for employment programs, which include helping local teens find jobs to learn critical work skills.
Mark is a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy. He came to Goodwill’s Workforce Development Office through Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) in Marion County. Our Workforce Development Department is a referral based program that works one-on-one with consumers with disabilities or other barriers to employment.
Mark was anxious to get back into the workforce after an accident left him unable to return to his previous employment. He was unsure if there would be anything he would be able to do, but he was willing to try. He completed a CBA (community based assessment) at our Corporate Office in the Contract area. While there he tried different tasks. With the help of his job coach, they made a devise that helped Mark perform the task that he is currently still doing.
Mark has been able to exceed the employer’s expectations in doing this task. During the two-week CBA Mark was able to prove that he could work and perform certain tasks. Mark’s attitude and his determination not to give up, gave others the incentive to improve their performance. Partly because of this, he was offered employment working two days per week, which is exactly what he wanted. Mark is an example of what a person can accomplish when given a chance.
Sherry has lived in Marion, Ohio all of her life. She started her career with the Marion City Schools. For over nine years she worked in various capacities, working with first grade students, special needs students and finally as an assistant with GED classes.
Sherry joined Marion Goodwill in 1996 in our retail division. In 2006 she made a career move to Marion Multi-County Corrections Center. In 2007, she decided to follow her heart and return to Goodwill where she worked as an Office Support Supervisor at the Marion retail store. She was responsible for training new cashiers, including consumers working at the store. When needed, she would help our Workforce Development Department with job coaching. In 2013 she joined that department full time.
Over the past nineteen years, Sherry and her husband have lived in Goodwill housing and she has been able to be a part of the Wheels-to–Work program as well.
Sherry enjoys her position with Workforce Development. She has returned to school to study Human Services. She has been actively involved in various company events such as the Marion and Delaware Wheel-a-Thons, and Customer Appreciation Days. Sherry has a willingness to do whatever she is asked to do.
Dominique participated in our Crawford County Summer Youth Program. The goal of this program is to provide youth valuable work experience while earning a paycheck to meet basic needs.
Goodwill, in collaboration with Crawford County Job & Family Services, is responsible for placing the youth at job-sites, as well as providing training, coaching and mentoring. Dominique was placed at Dean’s Trophy House, located in Bucyrus, Ohio. Dominique’s job coach worked with her on overcoming obstacles outside of the workplace enabling her to receive nothing but praise from her employer. She is currently earning her high school diploma through the Pioneer Career and Technology Center.
Dominique is 18 years old and is a country girl at heart! She loves the outdoors and is especially fond of fishing.
Josh is a recent graduate of Harding High School/Tri Rivers Career Center. He is a participant in the Marion County Summer Youth Program, in collaboration with Marion County Job & Family Services. The program offers the opportunity for youth, ages 16-24, to develop a work history and have a current reference from an employer.
Josh has a passion for the outdoors, which made him the perfect candidate for the Downtown Marion work crew. He ensures the flowers look nice for those visiting downtown Marion. When Josh is not busy working downtown he helps with our Shredding Program at the Corporate Office.
Josh lives with his grandmother, and helps her around the house. He rides his bike to work every day, proving his commitment to earning money and gaining meaningful work experience to increase the likelihood of future employment opportunities.
Natasha is new to the Marion area. As a youth participant in our Summer Youth Program, she has grown in confidence. Natasha has worked with her Goodwill job coach to overcome obstacles inside and outside the workplace.
The program offers the opportunity for youth, ages 16-24, to develop a work history and have a current reference from an employer. Goodwill, in collaboration with Marion County Job & Family Services, is responsible for placing the youth at job sites, as well as providing training, job coaching and mentoring.
Natasha was placed at Clean Sweep in Marion and has performed very well. Because of her job she is able to live on her own, and has the drive to become successful in every area of her life.
Nick started his journey with Goodwill as a consumer in our Workforce Development Program. Individuals with disabilities or other barriers to employment are referred to our program to explore possible careers, prepare for the job market, and find appropriate employment opportunities.
Nick worked one on one with our job developer who was very impressed with the effort that he put into everything he did. While doing his job assessment one thing became very apparent – Nick loves people. What a better place to take advantage of this skill than the Goodwill Retail Stores.
In November of 2013 Nick became a part-time employee at our Marion store. He is always willing to help wherever he is needed and is eager to learn. Since being hired Nick has successfully preformed almost all duties in the store. His smile and energy are contagious. He is a wonderful addition to the Marion team.
Deven is a participant in our Crawford County Summer Youth Program, in collaboration with Crawford County Job & Family Services. He worked for the Bucyrus City Parks Department. The goal of the program is to provide youth valuable work experience while earning a paycheck to meet basic needs.
When Deven first started working he lacked self-confidence and was very quiet. Within a short amount of time he was smiling, starting conversations and his attitude was excellent. He became a steady, consistent hard worker who followed directions well.
The City of Bucyrus has benefitted greatly from the program and Deven is definitely a part of the program’s success.
Tonia moved to our area from Alabama in hopes of turning her life around. She learned about our Job Readiness Classes while staying at Turning Point.
Goodwill’s Education & Training Center, located in Marion, offers free classes where participants learn essential skills for today’s workplace, as well as how to search for a position, create a resume, complete an application and prepare for an interview.
Tonia was given the tools she needed and excelled in the program. She gained full time employment at a chain restaurant and was able to pay off some fines and move into transitional housing. Tonia has reinvented herself and is currently working with our Workforce Development Program for some additional skills that will further her opportunities in our community.
Terri, a Veteran, moved into her Goodwill new-build, grant-funded townhouse in 2013. As a mother of two young daughters, she appreciates the convenient floor plan, energy-efficiency, and safe surroundings.
Last year, Terri contacted Goodwill’s Housing Coordinator to report that she was experiencing a great deal of stress trying to keep current with her doughter’s daycare expenses so that she could maintain her employment. Goodwill was able to assist Terri with resources to pay her past-due-daycare bill, and keep her daughters in a safe environment. Funding for Terri’s work support came from a Veteran’s Grant awarded to Goodwill by the Board of the Marion County Commissioners.
Through our Housing Program and collaborative efforts with various community agencies, Goodwill is able to help individuals, such as Terri, maintain their employment, housing security, and self-sufficiency.
Kayla is a freshman at Ohio State University – Marion Campus. For the past two summers she has participated in our Summer Youth Program, in collaboration with Marion County Job & Family Services. Recently she worked at the Municipal Court – Clerk of Courts Office. Through the program she is gaining work experience, developing skills and earning a paycheck.
Nicole was unemployed prior to successfully completing the PIES (Preparing Individuals for Employment Success) Program. This free class assisted her with her job search and employability skills, including gaining the confidence she needed with interviewing, which helped her land full time employment. She now feels she has the assurance to succeed.
In the 7 1/2 years that Terry has worked in the Goodwill Retail Store he has seen a lot of donations come through the door (including T-shirts). His passion and knowledge for music and books has enabled him to excel in the store’s media section. Terry takes great pride in his job and in being an employee of Marion Goodwill.
Through our Housing Program, David is able to lease one of our accessible apartments. The units are designed for persons with physical disabilities by providing lowered sinks and countertops, accessible appliances, easy roll-in-showers, and accessible parking.
Austin is a 16 year old high school student. He participated in our Summer Youth Program, in collaboration with Marion County Job & Family Services, for the first time. The program allowed Austin to develop skills, gain work experience and earn money. Proving … It’s never too early to learn about the power of work!
John has made a habit out of proving his doubters wrong. Born with cerebral palsy, he has always strived to prove that he can overcome his barriers and live a "normal" life. As an accomplished multiple sport athlete and coach for the Special Olympics, a devoted member of his family and a dedicated employee, John is no "normal" person, he's an exceptional one. John has worked a lot of different kinds of jobs, and after several years of frustration in the job market, John was referred by a support administrator at DCBDD to Goodwill in December of 2008. John credits Goodwill with providing him with full-time employment, benefits he wouldn't have otherwise and a job satisfaction that he has never experienced anywhere else. "I'm amazed at what all Goodwill does," John states, "I'm very grateful for the opportunity to work here."
John continues to prove to the world and himself that he can overcome any barrier set in front of him, and Goodwill has provided him with the training, work skills and support from his co-workers and friends to do just that. In closing, John says, "Goodwill has given me the opportunity to be independent and work with a team. This job has helped me learn to work with lots of different people."
When speaking to Marion Goodwill employee, Rosa, you would not sense the tremendous pain and suffering she's been through. She has a very positive outlook on life despite enduring a car accident which left her unable to walk for nearly two years. After the accident, Rosa was unemployed for five years. She stayed at home taking care of her four children while her husband worked. A divorce from her husband left Rosa with no source of income. She turned to Turning Point to get her life back in order.
Turning Point connected Rosa to Marion County Job & Family Services. She began working at Goodwill in 2007 in the Work Services Program. Participants in this program are given a chance to gain work experience in a real work environment which enables them to develop a work history.
While going through the program Rosa continued to diligently apply for jobs and was eager to work and provide more for her family. She struggled to find someone who would hire her because of her gap in employment in addition to the slight restrictions she had due to the injuries from the car accident. Fortunately, after a year of working through Job & Family Services, Goodwill was in need of a part time employee. Rosa's work ethic and dependability had not gone unnoticed. She got hired at Goodwill in 2008 and was promoted to a full time employee within a short period of time. Rosa has been happily employed at Goodwill ever since.
Stephanie struggles, like so many others, with low self-esteem. She didn't think she could handle having a job or even be good at something. After being referred to our Workforce Development office by the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) of Delaware County, Stephanie began working with her job developer. They did an assessment at our Delaware retail store and the staff encouraged Stephanie to fill out an application. This support was all Stephanie needed. She was interviewed and hired!
She started by sorting wares that were then priced and put out on the sales floor. As Stephanie's confidence grew so did her ability to learn new things. One of Stephanie's passions is reading. With this passion came the challenge of working with books in the store. She excelled in this department. Even though she loved the challenge and she did extremely well it wasn't enough for Stephanie. Her goal was to become a cashier. As you can imagine she has succeeded at this as well.
Stephanie is a single parent of a special needs child and she wants to make her and her son's life better. She has worked hard at every task that she has been challenged with, and she has succeeded. The Delaware South store is proud to say that she has been an employee at their location for three years now.
Darlene came to Goodwill through the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) in Union County. She wanted to make a career change but was afraid her hearing impairment would limit her options. Our Workforce Development Job Developer, Emily, started meeting with Darlene on a weekly basis. During one of the meetings Emily found out that Darlene had a passion for making floral arrangements. Darlene brought in pictures of some of her arrangements and Emily knew that this is what Darlene needed to do. They worked on putting a portfolio together, and with Emily's help, Darlene started applying at different floral shops in the area. After a short while, Darlene was interviewed and hired by Dublin Floral Design located on North High Street in Dublin, Ohio.
Darlene is extremely happy with her new position and her experience with our Workforce Development office. "I feel very fortunate to have Emily as my job developer. She is very dedicated to her work and her clients."
Help tell the Goodwill story
Has Goodwill Industries touched your life in some way? We're looking for people who have gone through our job training programs, as well as former Goodwill staff and volunteers, to share their experiences. Contact email@example.com to tell us how Goodwill has touched your life.