Goodwill Industries offers employment programs

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Olga Sterling began working at Goodwill Industries of New Mexico in Clovis in November as part of the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which trains low-income seniors age 55 and older for employment, including computer skills.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

After going through an alcohol rehabilitation program, Harry Duttweiler knew he would have trouble getting a job.

Duttweiler, 41, turned to the Goodwill Industries of New Mexico work force development program and found himself in interview clothes at an open house the same day.

“It’s really helping people,” he said of the program.

Goodwill work force’s goal is to provide skill development and work opportunities for people with barriers to employment such as drug problems, background issues, lack of education or a being a single parent. In 2008, Clovis’ Goodwill facility helped 165 clients find work.

Employment Specialist Leticia Zarate said the program offers seminars and resume, interview and computer skills help, including one-on-one help.

“Each person is an individual so we try to take care of them that way,” she said. “My goal is to help them get the job.”

Zarate said she has connections with several businesses and non-profit organizations in Clovis that she coordinates with to place clients. Depending on what skills a person has, Zarate will call a business and ask if there are any positions available.

“We help people by giving them the tools they need. A lot of time they can do it themselves, they just need to know how,” she said. “I am their advocate for the job.”

Goodwill also administers the federally funded Senior Community Service Employment Program, which subsidizes jobs for low-income seniors age 55 or older for up to six months with the goal of having the employer pick up the salary costs at the end of that period. The program trains seniors in computers or a specific job skill.

“My dream is to give people hope. When they come to me and say, ‘yes, I can do it,’ what more reward is there?” Zarate said.

Clovis’ Goodwill store manager Rachel Drain said the private, non-profit agency also helps the community.

“It’s great to have the opportunity to help those that are less fortunate,” she said.

Goodwill stores offer discounted and used books, clothes, mattresses, furniture, and housewares. Items for sale in the Goodwill store in Clovis come solely from local donors and overflow inventory from the Albuquerque store. The store also donates 88 cents of every dollar back into the Clovis community.

Information: 762-7277 or www.goodwillnm.org