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Edward's Story

Edward Parker is a man who exudes confidence. He is also a man who has handled whatever life brings him with a positive attitude and the belief that “everything is a learning experience no matter what happens in life”.

Edward proudly served in the US Air Force. After the Air Force, he completed a four-year apprenticeship and became an electrician in his home town of Memphis, Tennessee. Life changed for Edward when his mom became ill and he had to relocate to Buffalo to restart his life. He found the job market to be very competitive, and he was forced to rely on side jobs which provided no stability for him. Edward decided to change his career focus, went back to school for medical billing and coding and worked at the VA Hospital as a file clerk. He then enrolled in a Pharmacy Technician program, but without work experience and certification, he was not successful in finding employment in that field and still had to rely on temporary positions to support himself.

Edward Parker stands next to an electrical wiring panel, smiling

“Thanks to Goodwill, I’ve learned to never give up. Keep pursuing what you’re trying to achieve!”

- Edward Parker

Edward came to Goodwill’s Veterans Employment Services division in 2014 and worked with his job developer to gain the employment skills he needed. He learned how to build a professional resume, complete job applications and shine in an interview. Equally as important, he believed that with “prayers and patience” he could be successful despite his age which he perceived as a barrier to employment.

Edward’s big break finally came after he was told of an opportunity at Tonawanda Coke Corporation. He interviewed and was hired on the spot as an industrial electrician which he considers a “blessing from God”. He now has a salary that has allowed him to not only support himself but financially help his daughter who is pursuing her college degree so she can “concentrate on school.”

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