Goodwill Industries, Community College Partnership Places More People in High-Demand Jobs

Winston-Salem, NC — Nearly 20 years ago, Sherry Carpenter led the initiative to establish a partnership between Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina and Forsyth Technical Community College to offer skills training classes. With her vision and leadership, that partnership offered 175 classes and trained 5,900 students last year. As a result, Carpenter’s innovative workforce solution is being honored this year with Goodwill Industries International’s Robert E. and Charlotte Watkins Award for Mission Advancement.
The initiative has grown to include seven community colleges across the agency’s territory and a wide range of classes including office technology, customer service, construction, electronic medical records, and phlebotomy, as well as courses that train people for careers as pharmacy assistants, certified nursing assistants, electricians’ helpers, and more.
Goodwill Industries® and Forsyth Tech each benefits from the partnership through resource sharing. The Goodwill® expanded its training space, which now includes a state-of-the-art welding lab, and Forsyth Tech provides instructors to train people for high-demand positions.
Carpenter has been integral in efforts to educate other Goodwill agencies through the Community College Career Collaboration (C4) initiative.
“Sherry’s leadership resulted in an innovative, replicable community partnership that can make a difference for people who seek Goodwill’s help,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “Together, Goodwill agencies and community colleges are better equipped to prepare individuals for the workforce by combining world-class training with the career services for which Goodwill is known.”
Carpenter accepted her award at Goodwill’s annual Delegate Assembly meeting in Rochester, NY, on June 26.