Andreana H. was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome on the Autism Spectrum. She has had difficulty socializing and relating to others. In the spring of 2018, she was referred to Goodwill Industries of Mid-Michigan to help her advance on her path to employment.
Andreana’s first step was a Community Based Vocational Assessment in one of Goodwill’s retail locations. She started in the back of the store processing merchandise and eventually moved to the sales floor where her interaction with people increased. The staff she worked with commented that she was positive, friendly and always ready to work. She became more comfortable and confident being on the sales floor and speaking with the customers and she ended her assessment ready to obtain a job.
After the assessment, Andreana worked on her interviewing skills with Goodwill staff and eventually obtained an interview with the store where she had performed her assessment. In late July, she was hired by the Goodwill store in Bay City and has been increasing her skills daily. The store management team commented that she is blending her time between the back room and the sales floor as her confidence with customers increases. Andreana is viewed as a valuable staff member with a positive attitude and great work ethic. #powerofwork
BEANS & LEAVES
Beans & Leaves opened for business on August 23, 2018 inside the Goodwill Courtland Center retail store. It is a micro-enterprise expansion of Jersey Zone Café which is located in the Michigan Works building in downtown Flint which has been in business for 7 years. Tom and Cody own Jersey Zone and now Beans & Leaves as well. Tom is one of the original owners, and Cody has recently joined him as co-owner.
Beans and Leaves offers coffee from Fireside Coffee Company - a local company from Swartz Creek that roasts their own beans. They have been a supportive partner in this endeavor. Beans & Leaves serves fresh baked goods that are made at Goodwill headquarters building on Averill Avenue. The Goodwill HQ location also serves as an assessment site for people looking at food service career options.
Beans & Leaves has been well supported by many people at Goodwill Industries of Mid-Michigan. Several departments assisted Tom and Cody with the planning, setting-up, and organization of their new venture.
It has been well received by the store employees, mall walkers, and customers of the Burton Goodwill Store. Several customers are making Beans & Leaves their first stop of the day, including staff from other businesses inside the mall. Currently they sell coffee, tea, baked goods and chips. They plan to add new products as they grow. The owners are thrilled about the expansion and the possibilities it brings. The store is excited about the people and business it may bring to the mall and the store.
Luis Galindo is a 24 year old with a main disability of ADHD and a learning disability with impairments in reading, math, and writing. Luis was referred to Goodwill Industries of Mid-Michigan from Michigan Rehabilitation Services to participate in a community based assessment to explore his strengths, abilities, and interests.
Luis did not have any previous work experience except for working with his father as an auto body repair aid. The assessment was requested so Luis could work on his overall job skills and to see if he was ready for competitive employment. He was hired following his assessment at JCPenney.
With Luis’ learning disability and lack of work experience, job applications were difficult as well as building a resume. After being hired at JCPenney following his assessment, Luis was able to prove to himself that he has work qualities that make him a good candidate for employment. Luis worked hard to overcome his disability by listening and learning to ask appropriate questions.
After not receiving enough hours at JCPenney, Luis applied to Menards with the assistance of Goodwill Workforce Development staff. He was hired as a stocker in the plumbing department.
Since entering the workforce, Luis has displayed an overall confidence about himself that was not present before. Luis does not let his learning disability get in the way of his employment or his desire to learn and expand his knowledge about his current department.
Luis previously lived with his parents, but since becoming employed by Menards, has moved out and is living in an apartment on his own. Luis is also working towards purchasing a car.
Luis continues to thrive at Menards and has mentioned that he would like to take classes at Delta College in the future. He has an interest in technology, especially computers.