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Goodwill’s ‘The Job Connection’ – Turning Potential into Employment

Liz McGinlayThe Job Connection at Goodwill Industries of Northern Arizona offers a myriad of services at no charge to job seekers, but they all have the same goal – fulfilling Goodwill’s mission of “putting people to work” by connecting Northern Arizonans seeking jobs to local employers in need of a qualified workforce.

The key to this initiative is the comprehensive support given to those who come to The Job Connection. We help them discover their potential, then help equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to make employers take notice.

That can include determining any additional training or education they need to secure a position; teaching them how to complete job applications and apply for work online; helping them develop a compelling resume; and sharing tips so they “wow” employers in an interview.

The support doesn’t end when they start earning a paycheck, however. We want to make sure that our customers have the tools to retain and advance in their new positions, so we encourage them to join our “Job Keeper Club” for additional support that help ensures job success.

Virtually everything needed to conduct a job search is available at The Job Connection, including computers, Internet access, voicemail boxes, dress for business success vouchers, and much more.

All the services provided by The Job Connection are at no charge to job seekers and funded through the sale of donated goods at Goodwill’s retail and outlet locations. So remember, when you donate to and shop Goodwill, you join us in becoming a Job Creator.

Our customers are as diverse as the services we offer. We help those who have never held a job before, people who have been laid off, individuals with disabilities, those re-entering the community following incarceration, veterans moving from deployment to employment in civilian life, and even people who have had a career for decades and are looking for a new field.

A great example of that last category is Bernice Hardy. After almost 30 years as an employee of the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Bernice knew who to turn to when she decided to retire and explore other career possibilities; for years, she had been referring her clients to The Job Connection when they needed help finding employment. Now it was her turn.

Goodwill employment specialists helped her with the collaterals she needed to find a new career, assisting her with a new resume and cover letters customized to the types of jobs for which she was applying. In addition, she completed foundational work readiness training to brush up on some skills.

All of this meant she was ready when fate, as it often does, put Bernice exactly in the right place at exactly the right time.

One day, Bernice was driving her husband to a job fair and decided to attend herself as well. She wound up interviewing for a position at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station and was ultimately offered a position as a “fire watch,” a person who works alongside a welder to make sure a fire does not start or extinguish it quickly if it does.

Bernice is effusive in her praise of Palo Verde, one of the largest nuclear generating stations in the country, and notes that she enjoys working for a company that is very prestigious in its field.

The Job Connection is available at five locations in Northern Arizona. The one in Flagstaff East is also the location of the recently rebranded Arizona@Work – Coconino County, a consortium of 11 workforce partners under one roof.

By Liz McGinlay

Liz McGinlay is the vice president of mission advancement at Goodwill Industries of Northern Arizona.

To learn more about The Job Connection, Arizona@Work – Coconino County, or other Goodwill programs, please email Liz.McGinlay@goodwillna.org or call 928-526-9188.



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