Yesterday, the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development was invited to attend Goodwill Industries of the Valleys annual giving breakfast, and I was lucky enough to attend. Goodwill provides the community a variety of services from their donation centers and stores to their work and training services to provide people with the training they need to find employment. I listened to stories of those who received job training and skills enhancement services from Goodwill and watched as they broke down in joy and thankfulness for the services they received from Goodwill.
Goodwill has a variety of programs focused on assisting people where they are to help them receive the skills they need to reach their fullest potential. From job skills training for persons with disabilities, to assisting dislocated workers find employment, to training workers in high demand industries such as healthcare, and prisoner re-entry programs to help people reintegrate into the workforce, Goodwill provides a wide variety of services for so many members of the community.
One thing I learned during the breakfast is that Goodwill is its own community. Everyone who enters a Goodwill seeking help is welcomed with warmth and open arms into a family of people wanting to help others. Workforce training is an essential part of helping people move out of dire situations but more importantly having a strong support system, such as the one provided by Goodwill, enables people to succeed with the backing and support they need.