My Story: Melissa Ross

Melissa is a participant of Goodwill Industries of Houston’s Female Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program I was a victim of an aggravated sexual assault in the first degree with a deadly weapon. I had a gun put to my head, tied up after being sexually assaulted and told I was never going home. I decided to move from Henderson, TX, down to Houston. My family and I didn’t have anywhere to go, and stayed in a car that belonged to my mom. I didn’t want to put my daughter in that situation.

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Goodwill Urges Congress to Preserve Funding Supporting Job Seekers, Pell Grants in Debt Reduction Deal

With less than a week before the U.S. is expected to start defaulting on its loans, Goodwill Industries International (GII) sent a letter to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives urging it to maintain funding for programs that assist people Goodwill serves, including individuals with disabilities, youth, adults, dislocated workers, older workers, veteran, people with a criminal background and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients.

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Embark on a Career of Caring as an Education or Social Services Worker

If you love working with children or families, consider making your passion work for you by pursuing a career in the education and social services field. By working in this field, you’ll help people learn and find resources to improve their lives, and be a motivating force to help their students or clients become well-rounded, happy and independent. The fields of education and social service are diverse, and there are many types of jobs to consider. While employment in these areas can be rewarding, it is important to understand that the work can be very demanding and emotionally challenging.

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My Story: Becki Jones

My duties at Goodwill are working and hanging and grade, sorting clothing and sometimes doing wares. I have worked at Goodwill BridgePointe for 21 years altogether. I ride the bus back and forth to work every day. I like working at Goodwill with the other workers — I have always liked everyone I have worked with. I feel good that I have been able to keep a job this long. I feel more independent having my job at Goodwill in BridgePointe. I don’t like to rely on other people, and I’m proud to be on my own.

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Find Employment Opportunities By Cleaning Up Your Online Identity

It’s no secret that the current economy has made it hard for people to find jobs. You may possess the work experience and skill set required for the jobs you’re applying for, and you may have been told by an expert that your résumé looks great. But have you checked to make sure that your online identity represents you as well as your experience and résumé do? Your online behavior can affect you just as much as the first impression you make in an interview with a potential employer. This includes activity on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, on job boards, and any other websites where you can publicly post a comment or question attached to your name. And don’t forget the dating sites!

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My Story: Damian Winfield

Before I came to Goodwill Easter Seals, my life was a disaster. I had no job, no income, no substance in my life and no foundation. What brought me to Goodwill was my child support counselor. She directed me to a number of programs that involved fathers because I needed to establish some income, and I needed my driver’s license. One of the numbers they gave me was Goodwill’s FATHER Project. The FATHER Project was a place where I got a place to know myself, to get to explore myself and understand my rights as far as being a father.

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Hospitality and Food Service Careers Put Your Personality to Work

Want to work in an industry where a smile, bubbly personality and patience can be worth more than a college degree? Consider career options in the hospitality and food services industry, where being a people person and being able to make others feel welcome are as much of a requirement as prior experience in the field. A career in the hospitality and food services industries can take many shapes, including employment as a hotel and motel clerk, waitress and waiter, housekeeping personnel, reservations personnel, and restaurant and cafeteria staff member. Job opportunities exist in many locations, ranging from a roadside motel, hotel, restaurant or amusement park to a world-class, exclusive, luxury resort with fine dining.

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My Story: Johnnie Parker

Before coming to Goodwill®, I was out of work living in Hahira, GA, and struggling just to get gas money to come to Valdosta to look for a job. My primary work experience included auto sales and finance collections — I had 17 years in auto sales and 13 years in finance. To my disappointment, I was unable to find a job in those fields. I began looking at other careers, but my age of 65 seemed to hold me back, as many employers wanted to hire at younger ages. Besides being 65, I’m also a disabled veteran, so there were some physical requirements I was not able to meet for a lot of job openings.

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Attend Community College for Career Advancement

In May 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the national unemployment rate was still hovering 9%. While approximately 54,000 were added in May, 63% of new job openings in the U.S. require post-high school training or a degree, with nearly 50% requiring an associate degree or better.

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My Story: Aaron Hughes

I had major back surgery, where I had a disc taken out of my back. They took two bone grafts out of my hip. I was on full disability for about eight years. The doctors had said I would never work again, and I gave up on things, started doing drugs and ended up going to prison. In prison, I worked out every day. I started benching 350. When I got out of prison, I wanted to go back to work and get off disability. I went to rehab, and they sent me to MERS Goodwill to help me find a job that would be suitable. I could have gone back to construction, but how long was it going to take before I injured myself again? All I knew was construction — that was all I did most of my life.

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Build Your Career by Volunteering Online

You can do almost anything online now—watch TV, balance your checkbook, find great recipes, apply for jobs, talk to friends and family—the list is endless. But did you know you can volunteer via the Internet? Virtual volunteering is a great way to build your skills and strengthen your résumé. Virtual volunteers lend their time and talents from the comfort of home and on their own schedule. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection -- either at home or at your local library.

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My Story: Robin Wilkins

I was born in Omaha, NE. I really don’t remember too much about my childhood life, but starting around ages 12-17, I found myself out of control. I went through the juvenile justice system, including youth centers and group homes, to help me learn to respect authority. I fell into gangs and violence. I didn’t really like school much, so I had problems there too. As I began to get older, I began to start settling down and trying to figure out what I was going to do with myself. I tried to slow down, go to school and get good grades, and I needed some assistance to motivate me more and keep positive.

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