When thinking of Goodwill, many people assume that it is simply a place where you donate and shop. While people associate retail with Goodwill, retail is a portion of the pathway to fund employment programs designed to help support individuals in the community who are experiencing barriers to work. Through programs at Goodwill of Kanawha Valley such as: GoodHOST, Suited for Success, Grow with Google, RAISE, Boots on the Ground are designed to provide people a hand-up in order to reach their vocational goals. Kathy McKinley, Director of Community Relations, said “our goal at Goodwill is to help assess where our participants are in the process of becoming employed and help them reach the goal of where they want to be.”
Below you will find a list of some of the unique programs Goodwill of Kanawha Valley offers. You may be interested in learning more and you will certainly want to share these FREE opportunities with members of your local community!
Grow with Google – Goodwill & Google
Through a technology collaboration, Goodwill offers courses in technology skills advancement on a regularly scheduled basis. For more information on the current course calendar contact (304) 346-0811 ext. 1030.
The RAISE program helps provide assessments, resume skills, assessments, interview skills, and employment opportunities for Goodwill participants.
Suited for Success
Suited for Success is a specialized program utilizing business attire from community donations showcased in a boutique atmosphere to prepare members of the community that are stepping into the world of work.
In order to participate in Suited for Success, a person would have to complete a Goodwill program and be interview-ready. The participant works directly with a styling advisor to prepare an appropriate outfit for the interview. The professional advisor will work with the person to ensure that the outfit will give the person the confidence to ace the interview and get the job.
Many of the donations that stock Suited for Success are from partnerships with local businesses and Rotarians, however, individuals can also donate directly to Suited for Success. In order to donate to Suited for Success, inform the Goodwill Donation Attendant, at the time of your donation, that you would like your donation to go specifically to the Suited for Success program. Several items in constant need to supply the Suited for Success boutique include both men’s and women’s: suits, dress slacks, dress shirts, dresses/skirts, blazers, sport coats, dress shoes, accessories, ties, scarves, belts, handbags/purses, brief cases, overcoats and rain coats.
GoodHOST is a comprehensive twelve-week program that focuses on the practical, hands-on, industry-specific training needed to build a career in the hospitality industry. This brand-new program was modeled around the input from local businesses participating in the Business Advisory Council (BAC). Students will learn customer service, room set-up, light catering and other essential skills necessary for work-place success within a hospitality venue. They will also have an experiential learning option with a venue internship. Students also opportunity to become American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute certified at the end of the program. Goodwill’s expectations are that they will be hired in a hospitality venue once the internship is completed.
Goodwill Prosperity Center [GPC] & the Goodwill Conference Center [GCC]
Goodwill is currently in the process of completing a second phase of space renovation in the GPC. Once completed, the Goodwill Conference Center will feature state of the art technology, including remote access features making it a great place to hold meetings, conduct continuing education programs or business events. The facility utilized West Virginia companies and North American businesses for all of the architecture and design, build out, and interior finishes. McKinley said, “we proud to be hiring people in the community all the way around.” The scheme of the rooms is designed to accommodate several customizable configurations that allow the space to meet the needs of many formats. It will be available to rent in July.
Another activity happening at the Goodwill Prosperity Center is a monthly Meet the Artist event. This monthly event features work from artists within Goodwill’s 20 county catchment area who have a barrier to employment or disability. It culminates with an evening reception for the artist to meet the community and share more about their art. “It showcases phenomenal talent and works as a valuable reminder that everyone has something to give,” McKinley said. The art is on display at the GPC for a month. The art is available for purchase with all proceeds going directly to the artist.
Goodwill has a veteran’s peer discussion called Boots on the Ground for veterans who are having difficulty keeping or finding a job. McKinley said that this is beneficial because it helps veterans to find a source of encouragement from folks that have walked in their shoes and can share the camaraderie necessary to build bridges for gains in employment efforts.
This is just a small portion of what Goodwill of Kanawha Valley does for individuals in the community. To learn more or to volunteer, go to: http://goodwillkv.com/ call 304-346-0811 ext. 1030 or visit the GPC on any Wednesday from 1 PM – 3 PM for Open Enrollment!