Goodwill Lends A Helping Hand - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

02/14/05 - Lufkin

Goodwill Lends A Helping Hand

by Ramonica R. Jones

Tonya Havard just started her job at the Lufkin Goodwill.  She knocked on a lot of doors and filled out her share of applications before she ended up there.

"If I hadn't come here, I'd probably [have] been stuck not finding a job," Havard says.  "If I didn't have this program, I don't know what I would do."

Tonya's part of Goodwill's work adjustment training program.  Twenty-five adults who finished the program last year are now regular employees at Goodwill or other Lufkin businesses.

Jimmy Felton, employment services director, says, "It can be in sorting clothes or sorting wears and working out in the store as a sales associate.  We place a lot of people in our transportation department and they're loading and unloading trucks and accepting donations."

Goodwill also works with at risk kids in YouthWorks!  It gives Lufkin High School students like Darien Miller a chance to earn credit and learn both job and social skills.

"It gives me a feeling of giving back to the community and doing something good," Miller says.  "I never thought too much about it until I got in that class and I learned a lot of things about myself and how to be better for the community."

YouthWorks! provides more than just on-the-job training for its students.

"The purpose of the program is to provide skills, to provide support, and to provide connections to the community so that they can successfully transition to the world of work," says YouthWorks! program manager, Erica Richey.

The transition students make tomorrow starts with what they learn today, but Goodwill can't help others without a little help from you.  You can drop off a donation at the Goodwill office on Hill Street in Lufkin.

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