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Andrew's Story

"I am just so proud of myself which is something I've never felt before. My prayers are finally being answered and Goodwill is a huge part of that answer."

Andrew had "hit rock bottom" in his life. He was living in Syracuse and had just gotten home after “doing time” in prison for eight years. He was ready for a change, and decided he needed to be “a new face in a new place”. Since Andrew’s fiancé was from Buffalo, they decided Buffalo would be the place to make that new start.

Andrew knew he needed help to get a job and turn his life around. He had “a want - not a dream - to do better”. Andrew heard about Goodwill's programs from three different people – his fiancé, who always gives him “great advice”, an agency he was working with, and his parole officer. After the third time he figured he would “strike gold, and not strike out” and make the call that would change his life. Goodwill had just started a new program called Manufacture Your Future that provides training, experience and placement on to a career path. Andrew will proudly tell you he was the very first person to sign up for the program and was placed on the waiting list since the program had not even started yet. He was also the first to complete the program. He appreciated the "strong guidance" he received and not only learned the hands on skills he needed but also the soft skills and work ethic necessary to keep a job. He adds that the training he received got him “ready for the big league” preparing him to enter the workforce with both skills and work experience.

After completing the Manufacture Your Future program, Andrew had another “first”. He was the first person in his class to land a job! Andrew was hired as a laborer/machinist at S&H Machine Co. He is also training as a welder in their apprenticeship program. Andrew really enjoys going to work each day and doing the hands on work he loves. His employer describes Andrew as “a hard worker who shows up every day – and that’s a huge plus – and does a great job at anything asked of him”. Since S&H is a “learning shop” they want to keep Andrew “moving up the ladder” on his career path. They also describe him as “a joy to be around” and someone who “brings happiness to the workplace”. You couldn’t ask for a more glowing review!

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