LITTLE ROCK, AR — On October 17, 2016, the Arkansas Department of Career Education with Arkansas Rehabilitation Services held the Arkansas Business Employment Summit, which focused on inclusion in the workplace. At the summit, Goodwill Industries of Arkansas was awarded the Distinguished Service Provider Partnership Award in appreciation of our mission of changing lives through education, training and employment and our inclusion of Arkansans with disabilities.
Goodwill knows firsthand the benefits of having a diverse and inclusive workforce. For 89 years, Goodwill has guided individuals with challenges in finding employment. These barriers include having a disability, lack of education or work experience or other having a background. Goodwill staff members work with individuals to develop their employment skills, including resume writing, interviewing skills, job search, job training and more.
Goodwill offers an array of programs and services for individuals with disabilities. Horizons provides adults on the autism spectrum with customized instruction and work readiness experience to help them transition into the world of work or continued education opportunities. Work Activity and Supported Employment help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities gain positive personal and workplace behaviors and skills while earning a paycheck through job opportunities at Goodwill or other local businesses. Reentry Beyond Disability helps individuals with disabilities and a criminal background gain employment.
Jholen, 2016 Goodwill Graduate of the year, has an intellectual disability. On the surface, he seemed confident, but, privately, he had low self-esteem because he was frustrated from feeling different from others. After he graduated from high school, he entered the Supported Employment program. Through this program, Jholen developed the skills and self-confidence he needed to get a great job and take care of himself. There was a time when his mother could not imagine him riding the bus or shopping on his own, but he does it now. Jholen said, “I can do anything if I just put my mind to it.” Today, Jholen works at Walmart in the produce department, and he plans to attend college to fulfill his dream of working in graphic design.
To learn more about Goodwill’s programs and services, visit GoodwillAR.org.
About Goodwill Industries of Arkansas
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the mission of changing lives through education, training and employment. Revenue generated through the sale of reusable donated goods at Goodwill retail stores is used to create jobs and fund these critical training programs for Arkansans. Last year, Goodwill offered 224,000 services to over 27,800 individuals in Arkansas. In addition, Goodwill helped 4,500 Arkansans attain a job. Information may also be found at GoodwillAR.org.
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