Kenishia came to Goodwill through a referral. One of her friends completed the GoodSTART program and highly recommended the six-week class. GoodSTART is designed to provide out-of-school youth and young adults, ages 16 – 24, with opportunities to resolve barriers and develop the skills needed to begin a successful career in healthcare.

Throughout the program, Kenishia worked on employability and soft skills training and customer service training that includes a nationally recognized credential. “Although there were only six people in the class, it felt like it was a little family. Some of the material was a bit of a refresher, as I previously worked as a resident aide at Spectrum Health,” Kenishia stated.

The GoodSTART program provides one-on-one career coaching and resource navigation, paid work experiences in healthcare settings, opportunities to be mentored by registered nurses, job placement and retention services, and incentives for reaching important milestones. Funding for GoodSTART is provided by West Michigan Works! through a Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Grant.

Kenishia shared that this was a very positive experience. Without Goodwill’s job placement services, she never would have known the Michigan Veteran’s Homes at Grand Rapids was even a possibility, where she is currently working as a CNA through Maxim Healthcare Services. Kenishia completes tasks such as changing bed linens or making beds, repositioning bedridden patients, and assisting patients with eating and drinking. She also provides support to assist patients in performing other daily living activities.

Kenishia states she loves her job. “There is nothing to lose by going through the GoodSTART program. It is fast and provides better career opportunities with higher pay. Who wouldn’t do it.”