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Goodwill plans to expand Job Connection Centers inside local stores

Goodwill Job Connection Centers help unemployed
Raymon Steward, employment specialist at Goodwill Job Connection Centers.
Posted at 1:50 PM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 17:49:27-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — There are currently two stand-alone Job Connection Centers inside Goodwill stores in St. Petersburg and Riverview. A third location is slated to open in Hillsborough County in the coming weeks.

For many, the Job Connections Center is a great resource to get help with your resume, cover letter, interviewing skills or just learning how to navigate the web searching for jobs or filing for unemployment insurance.

"I believe in the mission of Goodwill transforming lives through lifelong learning and the power of work. It's very true," Raymond Steward, an employment specialist at Goodwill, said. "And, when we help every individual out, and we find out they have a job or even our unemployment assistance that was fulfilling. Especially during this time where money is scarce for a lot of individuals and families. So, it's a very rewarding job every person that we help who is willing to seek assistance highlights my day."

Steward is an Air Force Veteran who proudly served in the armed forces for a decade. He uses his skills as a veteran to give others the confidence to believe in themselves.

"Just identifying their skill sets that we know everyone does have and just pulling it out and putting it onto that resume so they can market themselves to that potential employer and company," Steward said.

You can visit any one of the locations at 2550 34th Street N., St. Petersburg and 10739 Big Bend Rd., Riverview. Or if you prefer to stay home, the program is online as well.

"How great is it to have this program in the community to help people that need to find work now, and they need that help?" ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska asked Ceylin Brooks.

"On a scale of one to ten at least 15, it's fantastic," Brooks said. "I love it. I feel like it's super helpful because there are some things that seem like common knowledge in a job search, but some people just don't know them."

Brooks is in college studying computer engineering and needed to find a part-time job. She visited a center and said it helped get her hired.

"Raymond actually helped me out a lot with piggybacking on the keywords that are in the job description versus what's in my resume," Brooks said. And, I feel like it made a big difference in getting me the job that I have now."

For anyone struggling to find work, she has this advice.

"Don't get discouraged keep searching and especially work on your interview skills," Brooks said. "Don't give up. Because just as much as they are trying to see if you are a good fit, you are trying to see if that job is a good fit for you where you are in your life as well."