When asked what brought him to Goodwill of Greater Washington, 35 year old Jerry Rogers' one-word answer told the story, "desperation". After ten long months of unemployment, he had begun to lose hope. Jerry's employment history was characterized by a pattern of terminations as a result of poor reactions to difficult situations, allowing his temper to get the best of him.
After discovering a flyer at the Office of Unemployment, Jerry decided to enroll in Goodwill's Environmental Services class. He entered the training with a cautious optimism, not entirely convinced that the investment of four weeks would be worthwhile. However, in the end, he was pleasantly surprised.
The instructors took a genuine interest in his development, both personal and professional. "I had full confidence that everyone at Goodwill was behind me 100%. They all wanted to see me succeed," he said. The content of the class provided the knowledge and hand-on experience required to excel in a janitorial position. In addition, Jerry noted that it offered him the life skills that he needed, showing him "a new perspective on how to handle difficult situations." This interpersonal ability will serve as the foundation of a successful, long-term career.
Rodney Brooks, his instructor, commented,"The moment that Jerry came through the door, he recognized what he had to work on. One would have never known by his overall disposition in class that '˜attitude' had been one of his problems. It is now one of his greatest strengths."
Jerry graduated from the Environmental Services Training Program with more than just a certificate; he now has hope for the future. Several days after graduation, Jerry was offered a position with Goodwill's affiliate, Best Kept Buildings, a commercial janitorial contractor. He views this new job as a huge gift and a second chance. With his new-found determination and the skills that he received through training, Jerry plans to work hard and prove his capabilities, possibly moving into a management position in the future. Thinking back over the weeks he spent in training at Goodwill, Jerry declares,"In the end, it all pays off."
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