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    Troy Wilkinson
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    My Story: Troy Wilkinson

    I left my longtime position as a Black Hawk Community College janitor in Moline, IL, not realizing how difficult it was going to be to find a new job. Going seven to eight months without work really weighed heavily on me. I feared losing my home and the secure life I had worked toward.

    I’m an Army veteran. While getting help to pay my heat and electric bills through the Veteran’s Assistance Program, I met Steve Bunn, a case manager with Goodwill Industries of the Heartland’s veterans program. Steve asked if I would be interested in working 12 hours per week at the Goodwill® store while I trained and pursued employment options. I was more than ready for a paycheck again, let me tell you!

    I began training as a temporary employee at the Moline Goodwill store. I saw the store, I met Cindy, the store manager, and I liked what I experienced. I have a strong work ethic, and appreciated what Goodwill had to offer me and veterans like me.  My temporary job became a part-time position.

    As my skills grew, my work hours increased and eventually allowed me to reach full-time status after conquering the cash register. I know it sounds silly, but I had an intense dread of the cash register. I’ve been abroad with the military; yet, the silly cash register held me back. In fact, I passed up an earlier opportunity for promotion because of my fear of operating the cash register.

    While I had fear, the team around me at the store, knew I could do it. With their support, I completed extra register training, conquered my fears, overcame my barrier and gained a promotion at the Goodwill store. Today, I work on the cash register, in the donations area or with my coworkers on the production floor.

    I’ve been at Goodwill for more than a year.  I love it!  Everyone is treated equally.  The supervisors and higher-ups ask your opinion and listen to your suggestions. This spring, I had an opportunity unlike any I had ever faced before. Goodwill presented me its Graduate of the Year award to recognize my work and success in building a new life for myself after overcoming struggles right here at home.

    Thank you Goodwill for helping me change my life.

    Listen and watch more stories from people like Troy.

    Hear how Goodwill is helping veterans like Troy succeed in the civilian workforce.

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