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Goodwill partnering with businesses to help get people into sustainable careers

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Posted at 6:47 AM, Jun 11, 2021

As more people get back to work, there's a push to help people not just get jobs, but get back into sustainable careers in a rapidly changing economy.

Goodwill is trying to address inequities and systemic barriers, especially those faced by women and people of color.

In partnership with the Anthem Foundation, Coursera, Google, Indeed and Lyft, Goodwill's goal is to get a million people into sustainable careers by 2025.

Together with Goodwill, the organizations are offering training and employment opportunities and scholarships to cover the costs.

Goodwill has programs primarily focused on the construction industry and IT, as women and people of color are underrepresented in those fields.

"Those jobs are taking folks at 16 weeks part-time; they end up at $25 an hour in many cases, having come from places where they were in the retail or service industry," said Jenny Taylor, who handles career services at Goodwill of North Georgia.

Taylor says that on average, the credential training process can take a semester or less to complete. She says she's seeing a shift in what employers are seeking.

"Very eager to take chances on people that they may not otherwise," Taylor said. "(They're) rethinking some of their hiring, using skills-based approaches rather than education."

Taylor says people who enroll in the program have a greater than 75% success rate of becoming employed.

Kara Israel is one of those success stories. She found Goodwill's career services as a single mother of three without a college degree. She went on to receive an IT support certification through Goodwill's partnership with Google.

From there, a Goodwill career coach helped connect her with a one-year apprenticeship at Accenture. She'll graduate from that apprenticeship on June 25 and has accepted a full-time job with the company.

"I wouldn't have been able to walk into this season of my life without betting on myself, without saying that I am more than what this expensive piece of paper may have tried to define me to be, or the lack thereof," Israel said. "So, I'm very, very adamant and saying, please, please, please bet on yourself because you're more than enough."

Find out more about the jobs and training opportunities here.