Our Mission is Changing Lives, Transforming Communities
Barriers to employment exist for thousands in our communities who lack the skills or have significant mental and physical disabilities. Yet, for many, finding ways to learn and develop these skills has become increasingly difficult.
“I dropped out of school in 8th grade so I could work in the family restaurant. Since I have attended GoodGRADS, I have learned more in the last couple months than I ever have in the past! I like how dedicated the teachers are and how much fun it is coming to class.
Along with school, I work a labor intensive job. Some days I work 14 hours, get two hours of sleep and I still come to class. I had perfect attendance in school for my first session. I have also been coming in during the school breaks for tutoring because of how important it is to me.
I want to obtain my GED so that I can pursue different job opportunities.”
Michael works at the Goodwill store in Freeport, IL. Through Let’s Go to Work, Michael has gained confidence and talks to his peers and other Goodwill employees. Michael’s main job duties include sorting, hanging clothes, and rejecting clothes on the sales floor. His favorite task is the rejecting. He enjoys being on the sales floor with the customers and being able to talk to people. Michael has worked with his Job Coach to develop customer service skills and he uses these skills every shift! Keep up the great work, Michael!
Before I came to GoodGRADS, I was going down the wrong road with drugs and violence. I dropped out of school because I couldn’t keep up with my lifestyle and the life I was living.
Attending GoodGRADS has helped me in so many ways, especially academically. For instance, my math wasn’t very good, but since I’ve been attending my classes and working hard, my math scores have been getting better. My teacher is great and she works with me until I fully understand it.
My case manager has been helpful too. She has worked with me to help with transportation and we are working on getting my driver’s license, hopefully soon!
GoodGRADS is awesome! My life is so much different now that I’m on track. I’m 6 months sober and working towards my GED. I love GoodGRADS.
“GoodGRADS has helped me tremendously with my English, grammar, and math skills as well as transportation and other case management issues. Their help and attention has increased my Math and Reading skills. In addition to these gains, I am also proud of my perfect attendance!
When asked how I managed to have 16 weeks of perfect attendance, I said that I am determined that I want to learn, I just made up in my mind that I was going to do this. When I am done with my GED, I want to eventually become a drug counselor to help others.”
Zach works at the Goodwill store in McHenry, IL. He’s a great worker and always wants to learn new tasks and help his teammates out. One of Zach’s main tasks is to sort, tag, and price belts and ties. He also works on the sales floor organizing the belts and ties and making the displays look neat. He is very detailed in his work and enjoys making sure every item he puts on the sales floor is appropriate.
Recently, Zach met his employment goals and was moved into the Transition Phase of the program. His Job Coach started going over interview questions with him and worked on his resume. Zach applied to JC Penny and got hired in the men’s department working as a Sales Associate! He works 18 hours a week and he enjoys learning new tasks and having extra spending money. Nice job, Zach!
Miriam came to the Goodwill Resource Room for assistance in finding employment. She had taken some time off work to take care of her child and was now ready to get back to work and was looking for resources to help her land a job.
Miriam’s primary language is Spanish and at times it is hard for her to understand English. Goodwill’s Resource Room Specialist was able to help Miriam create a resume and apply for jobs online. Miriam also attended many hiring events that took place in the Resource Room, including the Randstad hiring event.
The Randstad Site Manager was impressed with Miriam’s work ethic and hired her. She is working for the Target Distribution Center and so happy to be back to work using her skills and learning new ones.
“Most of my work experience has been in manufacturing, but I was ready to look for a job where I could use my personality and customer service skills.
Goodwill helped me identify employment opportunities and taught me how to explain my qualifications to employers.
After working with my Goodwill Employment Specialist and practicing my interview skills, my confidence increased. I interviewed with and was hired at the Rockford Park District. I work as an Event Staff Member now and love my job. I get to help so many people enjoy the different events the Park District offers. It’s a great job for me and my outgoing personality.”