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Goodwill's Second Chance Program Provides A Bradenton Resident With A Fresh Start

After years of being in trouble with the law, George thought there must be a better way to live. However, he had no formal education, some medical issues, and numerous arrests. How could he get a fresh start?

George had applied for a few jobs but was turned down every time—sometimes because of his lengthy record and sometimes because of his physical limitations. George receives some Social Security income and SNAP benefits but he was barely getting by. He was aware of many available resources around town because he has accessed most of them at one time or another for food, rental assistance, and other needs. George said that he had worked with the Goodwill Job Connection a few years ago to try and find a job but then he was arrested again and never went back to complete the process. He thought about returning to the Job Connection every time he saw a Goodwill store. He had learned that Goodwill was a second-chance employer so he thought he might try again sometime.

On a recent outing with a friend, George saw a “Now Hiring” sign in front of one of the Goodwill stores. He thought, “It can’t hurt to apply.” So, while his friend shopped, he completed an application for a part-time job and was very surprised when he was offered an interview on the spot!

As part of the interview, George was asked to upload some documents. George told the leadership team that interviewed him that he didn’t own a computer and had no idea how to operate one. The leadership team took George to visit the GoodPartner Coach, Pam, who was on-site at that store. Pam helped George set up an email account and upload the required documents. George was very nervous but happy that he might actually get a job this time.

A few days later, George got a call from Goodwill offering him a part-time job and an invitation to attend New Hire Orientation the following Monday. George went to orientation and started his new job the next day. He saw the same coach who had helped him with his initial paperwork and he thanked her for helping him to get everything done correctly and on time. He was glad to hear that he was going to continue to work with Pam to get enrolled in the Role Model Worker program and to set some individualized goals.

Since that first day on the job, George has completed his initial training and has been enrolled in “Power Skills” classes. He and his coach set some work-related and personal goals. George is more comfortable using the computer now but knows who to ask if he gets stuck. He hopes to learn his job and possibly other positions, too. He wants to complete the Role Model Workers program so he will be a more valuable team member. George knows “Where there’s a will there’s a way.” He’s glad that when he was ready, Goodwill was there to show him “the way.” It’s what we do …

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Despite facing significant challenges, including a lengthy criminal record and physical limitations, Slope George was determined to turn his life around.

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