Down time is not an option for Tess Roberts. A go-getter, Roberts takes care to ensure she always has something to do and is always working. She makes good use of her local Goodwill career center as a resource for her employment needs.
“I used the career center all the time,” she says. “I was looking for extra work because my job slowed down.” At a job fair she connected with Staffmark, which helped hire her as a warehouse employee. “My job is coming along pretty good,” Roberts says. “I take care of shipments of orders and make sure everything goes out on time.” Happy with her employment status and with the career center’s support in getting her there, Roberts has even referred two of her friends to the center this year.
Derek Phillips, lead career coach at the Northeast Plaza career center, confirmed Roberts has made good use of the facility, coming in regularly to search for job opportunities and to network with employers. “You know me, I’m persistent,” Roberts says. “I’ve got to keep a job so I can take care of me.”
Deborah Howell’s dedication to working hard began when she landed her first job at only 15 years of age. She was interested in technology, which led to a career in the electronics industry. “I like working in electronics because I like to see a product out in the world and think, ‘I worked on that. I did that,’” she says. However, due to rapid changes in technology, Howell’s position with that company was eliminated and after more than 20 years of employment and she found herself looking for work.
Though her career was changing, her passion for technology remained constant. Howell knew she needed appropriate credentials if she wanted to continue advancing her career. With no college degree, Howell looked to Goodwill to assist in her career development. In 2014 she was one of the participants in the first soldering program ever offered at Goodwill of North Georgia.
While enrolled in the program Howell received hands-on soldering training. She also learned how to build a résumé and how to prepare for an interview. “The training and certification from Goodwill helped me get the job I have today and has allowed me to stand out,” she says.
For two years now, Howell has worked as an Electronic Assembler for L3 Technologies. Not only is she an assembler, but she is also an advocate for Goodwill’s mission. “When I started at L3 Technologies, they wanted to know where I got my training,” she says. “I told them Goodwill and since then five additional Goodwill program graduates have started their careers here.”
Howell is a true testament to the Goodwill mission. “Whenever I hear that people are cleaning out their closet, I tell them to go to Goodwill,” she says. “I wouldn’t have a job if it wasn’t for Goodwill.”
Rosita Aranad faced challenges assimilating into a new culture after immigrating to the U.S. The single mother of two had to overcome language barriers, learn new customs and find a way to provide for her family without the equivalent of an American G.E.D.
Goodwill’s Youth Employment Services (Y.E.S.) program helped Aranad find her way back into the public school system to complete her secondary education and helped her with the transition to college. “The Y.E.S. program helped me with gas money and a part-time job,” she says. “But that was high school. Goodwill helped me go back to college and get a certificate so I can work in the medical field — that was my dream job.”
Now employed as a full-time Spanish/English translator at a medical office in Gainesville, Aranad is glad to be a provider and role model for her family.
During her career, Nanette “Nan” Cantrell has managed human resources for a mid-sized international organization and served as VP of human resources at three different companies. Despite her extensive corporate experience, Cantrell wasn’t confident that she could create a strong, sustainable plan for her executive coaching business, NLC Consultants. Searching for help, she enrolled GoodBIZ!@Goodwill.
“I had never started my own business before,” she says. “The program gave me the structure I needed for my business plan.”
As a “pay-it-forward” of sorts, she volunteers at the very career center where she found help. “There is no greater reward than knowing your influence and support has given someone the courage and the self-knowledge to find their next path.”