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Goodwill job training programs and get help finding a job.

Goodwill Industries provides a number of work opportunities and career development services to people of all backgrounds who have employment needs. They are one of the leading non-profits to contact to get help (find the phone number below) in developing work skills and in finding a job. They can help individuals, whether they are unemployed or the so called underemployed, by offering education, job opportunities, skills enhancement and training programs. A number of other resources may also be offered to help people become more self-sufficient and productive.

People who need help finding a job can get assistance in creating a resume, they can practice job interviews, learn about networking, and receive general tips of what employers expect from candidates. Goodwill focuses its assistance on a diverse background of people, including veterans, senior citizens, immigrants, the disabled, and the less fortunate.

Programs offered by Goodwill Industries

The exact types and numbers of programs that are offered by Goodwill Industries will vary by state as they are a national organization. It is recommended to call the location near you in order to get more information on the services they provide. In general, some of the tools and methods they may use are listed below.

Many locations will make available to the public Community Resource Centers. These centers can provide individuals access to a community computer lab, job networking room, phone banks, and job training classes. Almost all of the facilities and services provided are open to the public and offered at no cost.

Resource centers can offer individuals access to computers and phones that can be used for conducting job searches and completing applications or creating resumes. Many of the community computer labs will also provide self-guided software tutorials that can be used to enhance computer skills and help people learn about and use the latest software products. Volunteers and other staff are also available at the centers to answer questions and provide guidance.




Most of the Goodwill Industries resource centers also offer free classes to help people gain the skills and self-sufficiency they need to be successful over the long term. The class offerings will vary at each resource center but can include workshops on job search strategies, career exploration, career planning, interviewing techniques, money management, how ti improve computer skills, and resume reviews.

Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) – This can help individuals gain and improve personal and vocational goals through a comprehensive program that includes vocational skills training, work adjustment training and job placement services, and vocational evaluation. In addition, individuals with mental, emotional, or physical handicaps or disabilities can be referred to this program by a private rehabilitation or state agency.

Ex-offenders may be able to get help from the Jobs on the Outside (JOTO). This is collaborative and comprehensive initiative that provides ex-offenders with job search assistance. This touches upon all phases such as skills training, job placement assistance and other services.

Vocational Evaluation can assist with determining a person’s interests, transferrable skills, and work capabilities. Goodwill can also help someone turn hobbies into extra cash. Vocational skills training classes offered by Goodwill Industries can prepare participants for competitive employment in a number of different career fields. Gain skills in activities such as customer service; computer skills; forklift driving; food service and much more.

Gain real world experience from Work Adjustment training. Program participants have the ability to get experience in a workplace, including a light industrial or office environment. Participants in Work Adjustment training can learn all aspects of a job that are required for long term employment, including time management; taking direction from a manager; work efficiency; and communicating with coworkers.

Online classes and learning may be provided too. Many people need the ability to learn new skills when they want and as time allows, regardless of their circumstances. Goodwill Industries offers a free online portal to meet this growing need. Clients can sign up for self-paced lessons or even take instructor lead classes.





Goodwill Industries Community Computer Labs are usually free for public use. Typically a number of self-guided software tutorials are run from the centers. In addition, oftentimes a computer lab assistant is available on site to help answer any questions.

Training classes that are administered around computers are very effective at helping students and job seekers with learning a number of common software programs, conduct various functions, and access the Internet. Usually many sessions are held to address individual learning styles and skill sets of the students. Classes can include one or more of the following.

  • Introduction to Microsoft Word: Learn the primary functions of Microsoft Word, such as creating documents and editing and saving work.
  • Keyboarding Skills: Develop data entry skills through hands-on practice, and students will learn the locations and functions of the keys on a standard keyboard.
  • Microsoft Excel: Get training on the basic and primary functions of Microsoft Excel. Learn to create charts and tables from collected data, demonstrate the use of excel formulas and functions and save and edit spreadsheets.
  • Learn Windows and Job Search skills – Job seekers can learn the basic functions of the Windows operating system, including opening and closing programs, saving information, opening and closing Internet Explorer and maintaining software products and a computer system.
  • Various other technology classes are available as Goodwill Industries knows how important strong computer skills can help people in today’s job market and that they are really required to be successful. Students can also learn to complete online applications, set up an email account, and get assistance with establishing a resume online.
  • Since Goodwill Industries is a charity with thrift stores and other resources, they may be able to help clients find a free computer for their job hunt or career.

An Employment Services Program as well as Transitional Housing may be offered by Goodwill Industries in some local towns and cities. Resources are available that focus on very low income and homeless families. The goal is to help them make a successful transition into both stable housing as well as steady employment. In addition to addressing any housing issues, program participants will also receive financial literacy training, employability skills training, as well as job search and placement assistance. Clients will also benefit from budgeting workshops as well as other support services and resources that may be needed in order to achieve long term self-sufficiency.

Receive short term work from Transitional Employment Program. The goal is to use wage-paying but temporary jobs that combine skill development, maybe a client’s current hobby, real work and supportive services to transition participants rapidly and successfully into the labor market. Participants learn the routines and customs of work, can generate employer references and also are able to establish an employment record to increase their competitiveness and ideally help them land longer term employment.





Many national Goodwill Industries agencies also participate in the Wheels to Work transportation program. Trying to find affordable and reliable transportation to and from work is a large hindrance to finding and keeping employment for many individuals.

The Wheels to Work service offers qualified participants the opportunity to buy affordable and reliable cars which can ensure their continued success in the competitive job market. People do need to have a job that they need the car for, be in a fairly secure position as they need to maintain employment in order to enroll into this service, and other conditions may apply. More on Ways to Work.

Applying to free job training or services from Goodwill

Anyone who needs support in looking for a job or who needs to need update their skills should visit the Goodwill Industries in their community. Dial (800) 466-3945 to learn more about the opportunities and resources that may be available to you.


By Jon McNamara

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