Finding Support in Goodwill

    [fa icon="calendar"] Jul 26, 2023 3:00:00 PM / by Johnathan Lutes

    From a young age, Kane Sparks has been passionate about working with and helping others. In high school, for instance, he volunteered at a campus snack bar and excelled in his role. After graduating, he was excited to enter the workforce and felt confident in his job prospects. 

    However, Kane was met with disappointment. In an interview for a grocery store, the interview felt dismissive. Kane stayed persistent, applying to and interviewing for another grocery position – but felt discouraged by the process yet again. He wondered if his disability, craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, was a barrier to employment opportunities. 


    Eventually, Kane reached out to Vocational Rehabilitation for support. He received a job coach who introduced him to Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana. In 2013, Kane started the Janitorial Training Program (JTP), designed for individuals with barriers to employment who may be interested in commercial janitorial work. When he completed the 480-hour training, a production opportunity opened at a Goodwill Commercial Services manufacturing site in Indianapolis. 

    Kane excelled in his position at Goodwill Commercial Services until 2022 when he transitioned to a janitorial role within Goodwill’s AbilityOne program. Throughout his time with Goodwill, Kane has been provided with accommodations tailored to his needs, such as assistive technology to help with reading and testing. His supervisors have been understanding of his barriers and made additional accommodations for his mental and physical wellness, including anxiety, depression and severe headaches.


    “Goodwill has been incredibly accepting of my barriers,” said Kane. “I am truly grateful for the support Goodwill has given me day in and day out.”

    Since accepting the opportunity to work with Goodwill’s AbilityOne program at the Minton-Capehart Federal Building, Kane has continued to gain praise for his work performance and positive attitude. He wants to grow in his career even further and reach his ultimate goal of becoming a recovery coach. By helping people who have or are experiencing a substance use disorder, he can fulfill his passion for helping others.

    More than 40% of Goodwill’s nearly 5,000 employees have a disability. To learn more about the American Disabilities Act, visit the ADA website.



    Topics: Disability, Goodwill Commercial Services, AbilityOne

    Johnathan Lutes

    Written by Johnathan Lutes

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