Goodwill focuses on training individuals, helping them overcome barriers to employment, establish stability, and get jobs in the community, rather than creating a “sheltered” work environment for people with disabilities.
I worked in the capacity of vocational coordinator and was responsible for developing training and support services for people who were in the process of rehabilitation after a period of job dislocation. many of the clients I served were facing challenges ranging from traumatic brain injury to recovery from substance abuse or mental illness.
Typically we would receive referrals from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) on individuals who were at a point in their rehabilitative process in which they were ready to explore getting back into the workforce. We would usually run each client through a series of work assessments to gauge how “job ready” they were and what types of supports they would need, if any, to enter back into the workforce.
Once a person had gone through an assessment process, their challenges, barriers, and goals would be articulated and we world work to help the individual re-integrate back into the workforce. Often times, a person going through our program would be given a job to do through one of the retail outlets that Goodwill would provide for people to work with a support person to help them navigate the work world in preparation for independent or supported employment in the community.
My job, in particular, was oversee the delivery of services, as well as, address any needed modifications or development of services to help create the best possible outcome for the client.