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    Goodwill®’s Value to Job Seekers

    When it comes to all that Goodwill provides both job seekers and the business community, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I had no idea!”

    In fact, here at my employer (Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina) we’ve printed t-shirts with “I had no idea” on the front and “Goodwill… we’re full of surprises” on the back.

    Most everyone recognizes Goodwill as a place to drop off unwanted clothing or other items and as a place to shop for bargains – maybe even that “special” find.

    Beyond that, others know Goodwill helps people get jobs, but that’s usually where it ends.  So today I thought I’d share a few thoughts on some of the ways Goodwill can help you – or someone you know – through a hand up, not a hand out.

    Broadly speaking, Goodwill does primarily two things.  We assist participants with their job search and we provide classes to equip participants with the education and training to move ahead in their career.

    Let’s look at assisting with the job search for a moment.  At our local Goodwill we work with participants at all financial levels, from entry level through executives.  Beyond that, we offer specialized programs to assist populations with disabilities, those presently incarcerated, veterans, and more.

    My program – the Professional Center – is geared specifically to assist those coming to us with college degrees, a salaried position, or perhaps others with managerial backgrounds.

    Regardless of where someone may find themselves, Goodwill provides free help to get you back to earning an income.  That assistance may come in the basic forms of providing computer access, resume guidance, and job leads… to supported employment for those with disabilities and LinkedIn training for professionals.  And job fairs – plenty of hiring opportunities for participants across all income levels.

    The other piece of Goodwill involves education and skills training.  Here at Goodwill of Northwest NC we engage with the business community through Business Advisory Councils to determine which skills are needed in our area.  We then assemble training courses to meet those needs.  Examples include skilled trades such as welding, HVAC, etc., to truck driving, healthcare, call center, and more.

    For adults who’ve dropped out of high school, our local Goodwill provides an adult high school to allow folks to graduate with their diploma – not a G.E.D.  From there we help direct them to our skills training classes so they can leverage that diploma and training into a career-oriented role with much better earning potential.

    Most Goodwills also offer web-based information.  www.goodwillprofessionalcenter.org for example.  Others have smartphone apps with updates on job fairs, job search tips, etc.

    So, whether you know what you want to do and just need some help with your search, or you find yourself in need of education and training to lift yourself into a better paying job with a future, check out your local area Goodwill.  They’re free and ready to help you work to overcome whatever barrier may be in your way.

    Good luck!

    Randy Wooden
    Randy Wooden is Director of the Professional Center by Goodwill of Northwest NC. Randy launched The Professional Center by Goodwill of Northwest NC, the first program of its type for any Goodwill®, in 2012. His experiences in career coaching, executive recruiting, business ownership, as a hiring manager and as a job seeker have afforded him the opportunity to view the hiring process from all angles. He developed and provided on-air talent for the Internet’s first daily, live television program targeted toward job hunters. He shares job search tips through a bi-weekly newspaper column; regular appearances on television, radio; and frequent public speaking appearances. Contact information: rwooden@goodwillnwnc.org, (336) 464-0516
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