"It all started when I saw a flyer advertising a job fair at Goodwill Industries. I attended the job fair and since then, opportunities and doors started opening with options for growth and development for me," said Jason Price.
Before coming to Goodwill for employment placement assistance, Mr. Price had learned some difficult life lessons. He had completed a jail sentence and was determined to create a meaningful life for himself and his children. Now that he was home, he was eager to rebuild his life. He had dreams and goals but wasn't certain where to start to achieve those goals. Then he came to the Job Fair at Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana.
There he met Open Placement manager, Darlene Robinson. They sat down together to build a step-by-step plan that would allow Jason to achieve his goals. It started with the Indeed Essentials to Work Program. Through this program, Jason received a laptop and a hotspot. Internet access provided even more learning opportunities for Jason.
With these tools and the support of his siblings, Jason earned his commercial driver's license recertification. He didn't stop there though; he also became certified as a re-tread tech, certified forklift operator, and an AC & R tech. Within days of his graduation, Jason secured employment as a truck driver with TDJ Oilfield Services, LLC. of Shreveport, Louisiana.
"Goodwill has made a tremendous difference in my life. They assisted me in getting a laptop and internet access, returning to CDL training school, provided employment placement, and helped me gain other tools that have allowed me to shape and mold my future into something I'd always hoped for," Jason asserts. And it all started with a flyer.
Mr. Allen was referred to Goodwill by the Department of Children & Family Services for the CSE Education & Training program. Staff soon realized that he had several barriers to employment standing in his way, and it would take some time to overcome these and secure employment. He needed assistance with finding long-term care for his elderly mother, applying for Medicaid, obtaining a driver's license, finding employment, and addressing his issues with transportation.
Prior to coming to Goodwill for assistance, Mr. Allen worked on Barksdale Air Force Base as a landscaper before he lost his job and started work for cash for residential properties and as an uncertified car mechanic. Additionally, Mr. Allen began taking care of his elderly mother and his two younger children which made it difficult to find a job. To provide for his family, he turned to crime and drugs. Mr. Allen knew he needed to change, but really didn't know how.
When Mr. Allen fell behind on his child support obligations, his referral to Goodwill was the first step to starting over and helping him become successful. Goodwill began by helping him apply and obtain his Medicaid benefits and support for his mother. Staff worked with him on updating his resume, teaching him some work readiness and interview skills, providing job leads and completing employment applications. Goodwill provided LYFT ride vouchers to help him get to interviews and to training sessions. When it came to our attention that he no longer had a cell phone, and could only be reached via house phone, we also helped him obtain a free phone, and that's when his participation increased even more.
Staff then began the process of helping Mr. Allen obtain his driver's license. Mr. Allen had never had one which means he had to take a driving course. As part of the enrollment process with Sharon's Driving School, it came to our attention that Mr. Allen had outstanding reinstatement fees that he would have to pay in order to get his license. Staff worked with the Office of Motor Vehicles in Baton Rouge to set up a payment plan, which allowed him to begin driving classes.
During the same time, staff helped Mr. Allen enroll in the Industrial Readiness Training Program through Bossier Parish Community College. Mr. Allen stated that his main focus prior to working with Goodwill was, "to work cash jobs and figure out how to take care of my family members. Goodwill has helped broaden my goals for employment and provided me training opportunities that I never would have thought of taking. Goodwill has helped me open doors to bigger employment options."
Mr. Allen's plans for the future is to utilize his new certification to find full-time employment that will offer growth and financial stability. He has an interest in becoming a forklift driver or warehouse foreman. He has also expressed interest in obtaining a CDL once he obtains his regular driver's license.
Over the course of four months of working with Goodwill, Mr. Allen has demonstrated true resilience. He has worked very hard and always maintained his positive attitude. Mr. Allen has dealt with several challenging barriers but has truly taken a sour situation and made it sweet. He has made lemonade out of lemons!
Goodwill continues to case manage and work with Mr. Allen through the Child Support Employment & Training Program. The overall goal is to help him continue to navigate these barriers and to find permanent, long-term employment to ensure his success.