"They say Goodwill changes lives. They helped us change our lives."
Dan and Armen Mulumba arrived in the United States as refugees. They had escaped with their parents and younger brother from Africa “to find a better life” for themselves.
The local agency that assisted them with their arrival referred Dan and Armen to Goodwill. They had already completed high school and spoke English, and it was felt they could benefit from one of Goodwill’s workforce development programs. Within a month of their arrival, they were enrolled in Goodwill’s manufacturing training program which included technical training, workforce readiness skills and work experience that would enable them to get on a career path in the growing manufacturing sector. They had never held a job and were both eager to learn, gain work experience and interact with coworkers.
Upon receiving their certificates of completion from the manufacturing training program, Dan and Armen were ready to land a job. With the help of Goodwill, they worked on their job search and interviewing skills and began applying for jobs. When the right opportunity opened up, they were ready and landed full time jobs at Tapecon, a local manufacturing company – Armen as a machine operator and Dan as a packaging/inspection associate, with many opportunities for growth and advancement.
Dan and Armen decided to continue their education and enrolled at Erie Community College – Armen for Business Administration and Dan in Business with hopes to major in accounting. Their employer fully supported their decision and made allowances to that they could balance work and school. Armen even took “Zoom classes on lunch”.
Goodwill’s has supported these two bright individuals throughout their journey, and it has been a pleasure to watch them thrive in their personal and professional lives. Dan will proudly tell you he now even has his driver’s license.
We are so proud of Dan and Armen and excited to see what the future holds for these two very special individuals.