Goodwill Industries of North Central PA Celebrates Goodwill Week

FALLS CREEK- The first full week of May is Goodwill Industries Week. Goodwill Industries week is about applauding individuals who have achieved independence through employment and spreading awareness about what Goodwill does.

Goodwill Industries Week has been celebrated since 1951. This year, Goodwill would like to shine a spotlight on its Mission Services Department and Employment Specialists.

Goodwill’s Mission Services Department focuses on training and employment opportunities to help people with intellectual disabilities and other barriers to employment.

In 2014, Mission Services helped more than 1,200 individuals in the communities Goodwill serves. When someone comes to Goodwill for help, they are assigned an employment specialist who helps them find a job they will excel at and truly enjoy.

Additional support and guidance with writing resumes and preparing for job interviews is also available.

The employment specialist picks the best learning process for each individual. Some individuals benefit from Personal Work Adjustment Training, a short-term training program that teaches basic skills, including getting to work on time and appropriate work behavior.

Job coaching is provided to those who need more intense training and for those who thrive in a more hands-on learning environment. The employment specialist guides the individual through the job seeking process, helps the individual develop the necessary skills for job retention and provides support during the first stages of employment.

For individuals who do not know what career path to take, Mission Services offers Community-based Work Assessment. The individual has a chance to work in various Goodwill Business Partner locations while the employment specialist assesses their abilities.

Goodwill Business Partners provide Community-Based Work Assessment opportunities in restaurants, on farms, in retail and in offices so the individual can see what type of job is the right fit. Individuals in the program earn a Goodwill paycheck, and there is no expense for the Goodwill Business Partner.

There are two programs specifically designed for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Pre-Vocational Services Program, which is offered at the Falls Creek Processing Center, gives the individual work experience. It uses ongoing evaluations to see where the individual may need more help before the individual joins competitive employment.

The Supported Employment Services Program allows the individual to learn one-on-one with vocational support staff. While working, the individual learns the basic skills of starting, maintaining and retaining a job. As the individual’s skills improve the amount of one-on-one help they receive is reduced.

To learn more about Goodwill’s Mission Services Department, visit www.goodwillinc.org/services.

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