At Goodwill we operate our famous thrift stores as a means of making money to fight poverty with jobs. For some though, working at our stores is the first stop on their journey to the job of their dreams. Take Kaleb Miller, who was introduced to Goodwill’s Student Work Experience Program (SWEP), which is offered through a partnership with the Clark County School District. The program provides students with documented disabilities with an opportunity to learn work skills they need while being evaluated. The goal of the program is to determine the right path to employment for these young people while transitioning from school life to work life.
When we first met Kaleb, he was shy and quiet. Kaleb and his class at Silverado High School showed up every Friday at our Silverado Store to volunteer. One day, our store manager Tina Truncale was in a bind, several Goodwill team members called in sick and she had no one to cover the Attended Donation Center. The job requires team members to politely greet donors, help them unload their donations, and to provide them with a tax receipt. Tina thought this was something Kaleb and his team would be great at it and she was right. Shy and quiet Kaleb was a natural, greeting donors and providing them with exceptional customer service.
After demonstrating success interacting with the public, the Goodwill team recommended Kaleb participate in the Community Based Training (CBT) program which is offered by Goodwill in partnership with the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation. The purpose of the CBT program is to assess each participant’s job skills and job readiness. During his two-week CBT assessment at a Goodwill store, Kaleb was evaluated on skills that every person needs to get and keep a job:
- Attendance and punctuality
- Grooming and appropriate dress
- Quality of work
- Attention to task and multitasking
- Physical stamina and tolerance to stress
- Behavior and attitude
- Accepting supervision and accepting constructive feedback
- Following directions and retaining information
- Motivation and professionalism
- Customer service,
- Following safety rules and policies and procedures
- Independence level
- Status of goal
- What accommodations if any will be needed to be employed
Kaleb’s CBT Trainer, Liz Charon commented, “Kaleb always arrived for his shift early and was eager to learn every task that was assigned to him. Kaleb particularly looked forward to cashiering. Kaleb has a friendly and positive attitude, and he proved to be a natural when he worked on the cash register. He always greeted each customer with a smile and learned the functions of the cash register very quickly. Kaleb was always eager to get feedback from his trainer regarding his progress in the program, and always applied any advice that he was given to improve his performance.”
With such high praise for Kaleb, he was recommended for immediate job placement. In late summer of 2017, the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation’s Job Developer alerted Kaleb of an open position with the City of Henderson. Kaleb applied, interviewed and was hired by the City of Henderson’s Park and Recreation Department as a part time employee in the Recreation Center. He is now living in a group assisted living home and is incredibly proud of his accomplishments.