Community partners working together is the key to many successes in Grand Rapids, just like Casey’s story. Thresholds, a non-profit social-service agency providing assistance to Kent County residents with developmental disabilities, referred Casey to Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids.

Casey’s goal was to obtain a job and he was willing to work hard to get it. His Goodwill employment specialist, Andrea, worked with him on interview skills, creating a resume and job shadowing. “Andrea was a great job shadow coach, she helped me with everything I wanted. She provided great skills for me to be successful,” said Casey.

With the help of his employment specialist, Casey obtained a job at the Goodwill Knapp North store. “Andrea would go to the store whenever I needed her or to check on me. She came up with a plan A and a plan B to help me be successful,” stated Casey. Casey started out cleaning, but wanted something different. He had cleaned for 15 years at previous jobs and wanted to try and be a cashier.

“My supervisor gave me this opportunity. I like working for Goodwill, I’ve made a lot of good friends.” said Casey. “Now that he is working again, he has a social life at work,” his mom stated.

Andrea has been a believer in Casey along with the rest of his Goodwill teammates from the beginning. There were multiple days during training when Casey’s drawer was not perfectly balanced and he felt like giving up. Andrea and Casey’s manager worked with him and encouraged him to stay calm at the register, asking for help when needed. Over time, Casey grew into his role and has now worked at Goodwill for over two years.

During these two years, he has not only maintained his position, but has also assisted in training new cashiers. Casey is known by both managers and customers as being a hardworking, consistent, and an extremely friendly team member.