Hampton Roads job seekers now have even more resources to get “job ready” thanks to Goodwill’s partnership with United Way of the Virginia Peninsula’s Women United. The partnership’s new “Change for Work” program ensures women have access to Goodwill’s high-quality workforce training programs that will help them become employable for life, and they also don’t have to worry about the expense of professional clothing for interviews or to get started on a new job.
Members of Women United have helped host clothing drives and providing funding to update and stock a clothing closet at Goodwill’s Community Employment Center in Hampton. In addition, United Way of the Virginia Peninsula has introduced Goodwill to its other partner agencies, and new collaborations among those agencies are sparking an increase in referrals for Goodwill to provide workforce development support to clients of partner agencies.
Tammy Petersen, manager of the Hampton Community Employment Center, described the benefits of the community partnership and the real-world impact of Change for Work.
“A young lady recently came through the R.I.S.E. program (Resumes, Interview Skills, Social Skills and Empowerment) who had previously made many poor decisions in her life, and ultimately ended up in prison,” said Smith. “She said, ‘For all the bad decisions I made in my life, the best choice I made was to come to Goodwill.’” The woman selected an outfit for her interview, which was the icing on the cake on top of new skills and confidence. She got the job and is now renting her first apartment.
Through the kind acts of Women United members championing Change for Work clothing drives at their workplaces, used goods will help fuel job readiness training programs, refresh the clothing closet, and provide Goodwill gift cards for women who are ready to work. The gift cards ensure that they have choices in sizes and styles above and beyond what might be on hand in the closet.
As a workforce development leader serving the Virginia Peninsula since 1925, Goodwill’s mission is to change lives…helping people help themselves through the power of work. In 2018 we provided services to more than 6,500 individuals and helped nearly 1,700 of them secure employment with a wide variety of employers. Social enterprises, industrial contract services and philanthropy all help to support our vision of empowering individuals, strengthening families and building prosperous communities.
The Change for Work clothing closet is located at Goodwill’s Community Employment Center at 1911 Saville Row in Hampton, and is available exclusively for individuals who complete workforce development programs and are preparing for interviews and new jobs.
Call 757-951-4200 or visit www.goodwillvirginia.org for hours and information.