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Joann's Story

Joann was struggling to find a job and realized she needed help. She contacted ACCES-VR (Adult Career & Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation) to get the help she needed and was referred to Goodwill.

Joann began Goodwill’s 60-day Work Readiness Program but admits she had a “rough start”. It was hard “getting back in the groove” of having a routine especially with the “hardships at home” that she was experiencing. Joann’s Case Manager, Denise, realized that she could really benefit from Goodwill’s soft skills classes that included goal setting and self-esteem workshops in addition to the job search and interview sessions. The coaching Joann received from Denise along with “just a little tough love” were exactly what Joann needed!

Joann had previously worked in retail and chose Goodwill’s retail store for her workplace training. Once she was back in a store environment and acclimated to her surroundings, she “sailed right through” the program and thrived!

When their training programs have ended, Goodwill clients begin their search for outside employment with the help of their case manager and Goodwill’s placement staff. In Joann’s case, her case manager was approached by Goodwill’s Director of Retail Operations who had noticed Joann’s work ethic and customer service skills while she was training in the store. Joann didn’t have to search for a job or go to outside interviews. She picked out the perfect interview outfit, interviewed for a position at Goodwill, and landed a job as a sales associate in the William Street store in Buffalo – the very same store she trained in.

Joann balances work with being a caregiver for both her son and significant other which isn’t always easy. Asked how she does it, she’ll tell you she manages and is very proud of the fact that she is now able to contribute financially to her family.

Joann says, “The Goodwill store is my happy place. I’m now more independent, productive and confident!”

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