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workforce development

Mission Moment: I-75 Corridor Project with ODOT

By Goodwill News, News For You, Success Stories, Workforce Development

On December 10th, the Goodwill Mission met the moment in the lower level of the Goodwill downtown building.  After a year (with a COVID-19 interruption), the Goodwill I-75 Corridor Project had a reception to celebrate the project’s success throughout our region! Approximately 50 individuals from Goodwill, Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), Adelante, the Carpenter’s Union Local 351, and local road contractor Kokosing Industrial, Inc. came together to commemorate the program participants and a successful collaboration. This program trained 40 individuals in the construction trades and employed 21 individuals with jobs on the I-75 Project.  Everyone enjoyed food, fellowship, fun and participants gave heartwarming testimonials of their experience.  A seed was planted for something greater in the future.  As a result of the success, ODOT would like to re-engage with Goodwill for 2022 and possibly take the program statewide with other Goodwill organizations! This is definitely one to watch!

Mission Moment: Ravine Park Village

By Goodwill News, Reentry Program, Success Stories, Workforce Development

The Lucas County Metropolitan Housing Authority (LMHA) requested Goodwill Industries of Northwest Ohio, Inc. to come to the Ravine Park Village Community Center in order to share the services that Goodwill performs.  Two team members went to Ravine Park Village on Friday, December 3rd.  The team members were expecting to speak to 30-40 residents, however, to their surprise, they were met by 140 residents that were eager to hear about the services that Goodwill has to offer, including job training and development, Reentry, the Stay the Course Program, the Toolbox Program and the Community Employment Program.  The energy in the room resulted in interest for all of the programs!

Team members spoke to as many residents they could.  To their surprise, when they arrived back to Madison Ave, about 30 residents were waiting, ready to sign up with the Job Connection Center (JCC), the Reentry Program, Community Employment and barrier removal services.  It was such a success that LMHA has requested that Goodwill return to do another presentation in February 2022.  The entire Mission Department will attend this presentation to do intake to those participants that attend in order to bring Mission to the Community.  We can’t wait!

Mission Moment: Meet Kaniya

By Goodwill News, Success Stories, Workforce Development

They say that “second time’s a charm”, and that’s turning out to be true with Kaniya. Kaniya had a previous job development case through Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) and Goodwill where she became employed at the Toledo Zoo and Aquarium. However, the chill autumn weather brought a slowdown in zoo visitors and Kaniya was laid off. Not to be deterred, Kaniya contacted OOD and with the assistance of her Goodwill job developer, Kaniya was able to navigate her way through the Covid-19 pandemic and a virtual job fair which was a new experience for her!  A successful interview again brought her the part-time job she had been seeking. Now Kaniya is a Fashion Stocker at the Meijer in Maumee.  Her supervisor says that Kaniya does a good job and is really coming into her own. That’s the power of work!

Goodwill Partners with ODOT and Adelante

By Goodwill News, Job Openings, News For You, Workforce Development

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is partnering with Goodwill and Adelante on The I-75 Workforce Initiative which will recruit men and women who live in the Old South End Neighborhood. The goal of The I-75 Workforce Initiative is to create an environment that will provide at least 25 residents from the Old South End Neighborhood with the encouragement, preparation, and opportunity to enter positions within the field of construction and related skilled trade fields.

An Informational Session was held at Adelante where ODOT, building trades, and prime contractors were on site to speak directly with the participants and answer specific questions. Thirty-one participants were in attendance and enrolled in the program who will receive Job Readiness and Financial Literacy training. We are grateful to ODOT for this wonderful opportunity!

Mission Moment: Owens Community College GED Program comes back to Goodwill

By Goodwill News, News For You, Workforce Development

Goodwill is pleased to announce that the GED Program returned to the Goodwill downtown office in September 2021.  Goodwill has been without the program for a number of years and has recognized that it is an important wrap around service in job training and job development.  Weona Williams, GED Program Director for Owens Community College has worked with Charles Gibbon of the JCC and David Takats, Chief Mission Officer to bring the program back to downtown Toledo.  With the program added back to the list of Goodwill offered services, it provides a foundational curriculum to give participants an established credential and accomplishment.  Furthermore, now that Goodwill has other wrap around services, any costs for tests or transcripts will be absorbed by Goodwill.  The classes started on September 28th.  If you have any questions, please contact the Goodwill Job Connection Center (JCC) at 419.255.0070.

Meet Yashica: Skill Up to Move Up

By Goodwill News, Success Stories, Workforce Development

Skill Up to Move Up (“SUMU”) works to remove barriers to employment recognizing that success is rarely a straight line from point A to point B.  Our participant, Yashica, connected with her success coach, Lakishia, to address educational barriers, primarily a lack of access to technology. Lakishia worked with the SUMU partners to find this much-needed resource and now Yashica is taking part in GED online classes.

Yashica and Lakishia continued to work together researching the best training opportunities for her.  As a result, she was able to receive her Forklift Certification and is actively seeking employment in the Manufacturing Industry.  The SUMU team is committed to helping its participants define what success means to them and how to establish their path to achieving their goals.

Meet Adam: Summer Youth Work Experience

By Goodwill News, Success Stories, Workforce Development

Adam participated in the Summer Youth Work Experience last summer and received services from Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities for vocational services.  While participating in summer youth, he gained viable work history and showed a great work ethic.  After summer youth, he participated in job development services to search for permanent community employment.  Adam had the opportunity to interview with Marshall’s and was offered the job on the spot.  He accepted the position and started working that same week.  His job duties include cleaning high-touch areas, collecting carts, layups, and greeting customers as they come into the store. By Adam participating in summer youth, he was able to take those skills he learned and apply them to his job at Marshall’s.  Keep up the great work Adam!

Meet Jose: Reentering Citizen

By Reentry Program, Success Stories, Workforce Development

Jose came to Goodwill Industries of Northwest Ohio, Inc. in the fall of 2020 for Job Development services as a referral from the State of Ohio Office of Opportunity for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD).  In addition, Jose was a returning citizen to the Toledo community after a long prison sentence. This allowed him to be placed in the Goodwill Reentry program as well.  Jose performed well in job training and began the portion of job development in early 2020.  His job search was paused because of Covid-19 during the winter and spring of 2020.

Once services resumed, Jose applied for a position in the Goodwill Contracts Division as a Driver.  His job duties are to drive a team of Goodwill janitors to a designated job site and return them to the Goodwill office at the end of their shift.  He also performed janitorial duties at the site as part of the team.  Jose has performed his job in an exemplary manner.  A driver position is extremely important because the entire janitorial team is dependent upon his attendance, timeliness, and consistency.  His supervisor always speaks well of him and he has been a welcome addition to the Goodwill family.  The position has allowed him to become a productive member of the community as well as giving him the resources to take care of his family.

Job Connection Center Staff Member: Meet Tisha

By Goodwill News, Job Openings, News For You, Workforce Development

Tisha Carroll’s mission has been to help individuals actualize potential paths, once deemed impossible, by way of instruction, volunteerism, and advocacy.  As a new member of Goodwill’s Job Connection Center staff, Tisha is still able to fulfill her mission by being a source of hope and support for a population of individuals that may face barriers to employment.  As a former financial coach with the Financial Opportunity Centers, Tisha has developed financial strategies that have produced positive outcomes by building relationships and delivering effective counseling practices.  Tisha is very excited to help create success for those visiting the Job Connection Centers.

Mission Moment: Focus on Goodwill’s Workforce Development Team-Stay the Course

By Goodwill News, Grants, News For You, Reentry Program, Workforce Development


The Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ) recently gave the 2020 Community Reentry Award to Willie Knighten. NABCJ states that “This award is given to a person or group who works tirelessly in the community to bring about justice for all. They work with persons who are recently released from incarceration and are struggling with their reentry. They show an unwavering commitment to helping others regardless of the cost.”

Willie has been a Reentry Navigator with Goodwill since 2016. In that time, he has worked with countless returning citizens to help guide them through the process of getting their license reinstated, obtaining industry-recognized credentials, and securing gainful employment. He has definitely displayed “an unwavering commitment” and is most deserving of this prestigious award. Congratulations, Willie!