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Kenneth's Story

“Goodwill opened a lot of doors for me. They really want you to succeed.”

Kenneth Wojtusiak is very open and honest about anything you ask him. His family was “broken apart” after being together for 15 years and he raised his four children, three who lived with him, as a single dad. He moved from job to job trying to support his family, but it wasn’t enough. He applied for public assistance and was referred to Goodwill to receive the support he needed to find employment. Kenny was placed at a job, but unfortunately the place of business closed and he didn’t get paid for the time he worked. Then he had a pre-cancerous health scare. He participated in a drug trial which proved to be successful and he was cancer free, but it still was a “tough time” in his life. Kenny wasn’t working, “just doing odd jobs to make ends meet” and returning cans and bottles for extra cash.

Kenny returned to the Department of Social Services to get food stamps and other assistance for his family and was once again referred to Goodwill to obtain the work experience he needed to find employment. He worked in Goodwill’s Contract Manufacturing division while participating in soft skills classes and working on his resume and interviewing skills. He’ll tell you that his “whole intention was to get a job at Goodwill” after his training ended. He wanted to prove that he was a good candidate for hire and have his work “speak for itself”. And it did. Just a month and a half into his time at Goodwill, the Contract Manufacturing production manager took note of Kenny’s work ethic and talked about the possibility of hiring him. After 10 weeks, Kenny completed his training at Goodwill and was offered a position. The following Monday he became “an official employee of Goodwill”, working on various projects for many of Goodwill’s Contract Manufacturing division customers. Just two weeks later, Kenny advanced to Team Lead managing the work activities of one of Goodwill’s largest business customers.

Things kept moving in the right direction for Kenny. He was recently promoted to Production Supervisor where he “makes sure everyone is getting work done” and has the supplies they need to “get the job done right” for the customers that place their confidence in Goodwill’s Contract Manufacturing division. He especially enjoys training program participants on the equipment used in the division. Most of all, he appreciates being able to share his experiences to show how his “hard work paid off” and led to his advancement from a program participant to a production supervisor.

Asked what drives him to work hard, without hesitation Kenny will tell you, “I have kids to support and make sure they have a good life.” We couldn’t think of a better reason and applaud Kenny for setting a great example for his family.

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