Times were very tough for Brad in 2014. His wife passed away, he needed to move out of the home they shared, and he was exhausted from struggling with substance abuse. Seeking change, Brad entered treatment and set a goal to get a job. A family member then told Brad about the many ways Goodwill helps individuals seeking employment, so Brad attended a Goodwill information session to find the program that was right for him.

Brad enrolled in the Achieve program, which is fully funded by Goodwill’s retail stores. This no-cost program assists individuals with gaining the skills to attain and maintain long-term employment to be self-sufficient members of society. While in Achieve, Brad worked on barrier reduction, communication skills, self-confidence, handling stress, working with others, job search techniques, resume creation, interview practice and much more. Brad’s punctuality and active participation in the workshops demonstrated to the Achieve program staff he was serious about gaining employment.

When Brad was ready to look for work, he met with the Achieve program career coaches to identify employment opportunities. He shared his concerns with them, “I have a felony conviction and that isn’t helpful, and I lack work history.” Brad needed to find a job at a company located on the bus line and open to hiring people with criminal backgrounds. Brad and his career coaches were able to identify a Goodwill business partner that met these criteria and aligned with his skills and interests. Goodwill’s partnership with this business opened the door for Brad and eliminated his concerns about his age, lack of work history and criminal background.

Brad has been employed at his warehouse position for over a year now. Brad’s employer stated, “It was clear that Brad was committed to work by the effort he put in at Goodwill’s Achieve program. Our relationship with Goodwill gives us the opportunity to hire quality people that we might not otherwise meet.” Brad states his job is perfect for him and he is happy there. He is grateful for the assistance he received along the way. Brad said “I tell other people about Goodwill. The Achieve program was beneficial, it was good that I could go through the program first; it prepared me for working. I appreciate what everyone has done for me. The staff were all very polite, motivational and encouraging. I liked everybody and everything we went through was very informative and helpful, and it was a good start to getting me out of bed and getting on a schedule.”