Training and Career Services
Changing lives and communities through the power of work.
View our annual outcomes.
Our training programs are housed at the Goodwill Employment Center, located at 3777 Sparks Drive SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.
Interested in learning more about our programs and services? Join us for an Information Session on Wednesdays at 11am at the Employment Center.
2022 Mission Data
Average Starting Wage
Average Starting Wage With Credential
Achieve is Goodwill’s flagship program offering intensive and holistic programming and supports to job seekers from a wide variety of skills, experiences, backgrounds, and ages. The structured and participant-centered design includes large group, small group, and one-on-one career coaching that focuses on employability skills, individualized goal setting and attainment, and resource connections. Since the program began in 2011, participants have consistently achieved a 70% one-year employment retention rate. Funding for Achieve is provided by Goodwill retail stores.
Career Quest is designed to help justice-involved individuals transition back into the community and the workforce with a new, positive, purpose-driven direction for themselves. Participants are guided through the process of addressing their past life circumstances and behaviors that have contributed to criminal involvement and incarceration. Life-skills strategies are taught to enable participants to implement positive changes. Career exploration, individualized plan development, and goal setting are built in along with a variety of employability topics. Career Quest staff provide community resources and helpful tips for acclimating back into society. Workshops and one-on-one coaching sessions are provided at the Kent County Correctional Facility, the Juvenile Detention Center, Alternative Directions which houses State prison parolees, and Community Alternative Program which houses Federal prison probationers. Referrals from other sources and walk-ins with criminal involvement are served as well. Funding for Career Quest is provided by Goodwill retail stores.
Certified Nurse Aide Training
Goodwill’s Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Training prepares individuals to pass the State of Michigan nurse aide exam and find a rewarding job in the healthcare industry. This enhanced training program consists of 115 hours of classroom instruction, hands-on practice in a skills lab, and clinical experience working with residents at a long-term care facility. Students also participate in employability and life skills workshops, and receive healthcare level CPR training. Classes are offered days, evenings, and weekends, and at both full-time and part-time status. Goodwill’s CNA students have access to career coaching, tutoring, and on-site job fairs. Funding for CNA Training is provided by Goodwill stores, community employers, student self-pay, West Michigan Works!, Heart of West Michigan United Way, and community foundations.
GoodSTART WIOA Youth Program
The GoodSTART program 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. GoodSTART provides employability and soft skills training, customer service training that includes a nationally recognized credential, and scholarships to participate in Goodwill’s Certified Nurse Aide Training program. GoodSTART also 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.
The OS Reentry program serves individuals under Kent County Parole office supervision after being released from state prisons in Michigan. Our career coaches work closely with the participant’s parole officer to help with preventing recidivism. Participants receive information on a variety of employability topics and work with their career coach to create an individualized plan for employment and long-term retention. Other goals to help the participant become a positive, contributing member of society can include housing, transportation, following all conditions of parole, and connections to useful community resources. Funding for OS Reentry is provided by Michigan Works West Central through the State of Michigan Prisoner Reentry grant.
PathFINDERS is an employment program that helps young people (ages 16-25) living in Kent County overcome barriers and reach their career and educational goals. PathFINDERS is designed to meet young people where they are and provide mentorship and coaching that encourages personal growth and opportunities to thrive. Participants receive 1-on-1 career coaching and goal setting; career planning, job placement and retention services; workshops related to life skills, soft skills, and employability skills; opportunities to complete job shadows, and paid or unpaid work experiences; employer and college tours; opportunities to participate in vocational training; and much more. Funding for PathFINDERS is provided by Goodwill retail stores.
Resource Navigation is designed to partner with community organizations to find the resource that is right for each person’s unique situation. Our navigators assist with a wide variety of needs such as connections to resources for housing, food insecurity, transportation, workplace and interview attire, and much more. The resource navigation team also provides free one-on-one assistance with applying online for a MDHHS benefit program through MI Bridges. Funding for Resource Navigation is provided by Goodwill retail stores.
Goodwill’s Strides program offers employment services to adults experiencing mental health challenges and co-occurring disorders. Strides offers one-on-one support to individuals as they determine their career interests and seek and maintain employment. Strides coaches work in partnership with an individual’s Community Mental Health care team to ensure holistic services. Funding for Strides is provided in partnership with Network 180.
Goodwill’s supported employment program since 1967, Visions, serves adults with developmental disabilities and cognitive impairments. Visions provides one-on-one assistance with obtaining long-term competitive and integrated employment. Participants receive support with the interview process, filling out job applications, employer paperwork and scheduling, and learning and performing on-site job tasks at their place of employment. Visions’ staff ensure participants have access to other valuable community resources or agencies to assist in the goal of independence. Funding for Visions is provided in partnership with Network180.