Training and Career Services

Our Mission

Changing lives and communities through the power of work.

Goodwill believes in the power of work to change lives. To overcome barriers and help people grow personally and professionally, a range of services are offered, including skills assessment, training, interview preparation, job search and placement assistance, employer and community resource connections and job retention support. Programs and services are provided at little or no cost thanks to the revenue received from Goodwill stores, grants and private funding.

View our annual outcomes.


Our Facility


Our training programs are housed at the Goodwill Employment Center, located at 3777 Sparks Drive SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

Information Sessions

Interested in learning more about our programs and services? Join us for an Information Session on Wednesdays at 11am at the Employment Center.

2021 Mission Data

Participants Served

Job Placements

Advancements Earned

Average Starting Wage


90 Day Retention

Average Starting Wage With Credential

Our Programs


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.
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Career Quest

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.
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Journey to Careers

Journey to Careers assists young adults who have a documented disability transition out of high school and into employment. Our career coaches work closely with students during their senior year of high school to assist with a career path and an employment match before graduation. This program also connect students to other community resources to fill service gaps, and prepare students with the skills and resources needed to reach independence. Career coaches appear on-site at area high schools and within Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS). Funding for Journey to Careers is provided in partnership with Kent ISD and Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS).
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Offender Success

The Offender Success program serves individuals who are under Kent County Parole office supervision after release 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 to society can include housing, transportation, following all conditions of parole, and connections to useful community resources. Funding for Offender Success is provided by Michigan Works West Central through a State of Michigan Prisoner Reentry grant.


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.
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Program Video

Training and Service Center

Contact Us

Have questions about our job training and placement programs?

Call Us at 616.532.4200

Email training@goodwillgr.org