Chipley center helps hundreds with jobs, self-esteem

Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 04:18 PM.

The Job Club is a weekly group that teaches job seekers soft skills, such as self-presentation, dependability, motivation, team building and anger management, among other skills, Richards said.

“Clients who are in our placement program are required to come to Job Club each week so they can learn skills such as how to interview, or how to handle criticism from an employer,” Richards said.

Goodwill Industries began in 1902 as a program to collect discarded items then put disadvantaged people to work repairing the items so they could support themselves and their families, said Heather Gioia, director of public relations for Goodwill Industries – Big Bend.

“For years the emphasis was on working with the disabled, and that is still a large part of what we do,” Gioia said, “but we also help anyone who needs help with finding a job.”

Goodwill Industries also helps people overcome obstacles such as poverty, homelessness, or educational challenges.

“We offer a systemic approach to the client’s needs,” Richards said. “If they come in with only an eighth grade education, we have programs to get them ready to take the GED, then we have programs for testing for GED. After that, we have classes in various computer skills, and even certification.”

Richards said Goodwill Industries – Big Bend works with employers in the area, including temp services such as Manpower in Dothan, to connect employees with jobs.

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