Finding Community Through Second Chances

    [fa icon="calendar'] Jun 14, 2024 3:00:00 PM / by Noelle Gray posted in Community Partners, Employment, New Beginnings, Criminal History, Mission Awareness

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    For over 10 years, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana’s New Beginnings program has helped those who have been previously incarcerated reenter their communities. The program is designed to offer Hoosiers the resources to address the barriers they encounter after being released from the criminal justice system. 

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    2024 Goodwill Educators of the Year

    [fa icon="calendar'] Jun 3, 2024 11:45:00 AM / by Riley McCarthy posted in Employment, The Excel Center, Indianapolis Metropolitan High School, Education, Mission Awareness, Leadership Spotlight, Goodwill Education, Non Profit Leadership

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    Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana proudly presents its 2024 Educators of the Year!

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    Removing the Stigma of Mental Health in the Workplace

    [fa icon="calendar'] May 29, 2024 1:06:24 PM / by Jenny Kakasuleff posted in Employment, mental health, Mission Awareness, DEI

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    As part of our One Goodwill Strategic Plan, launched in 2022, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana developed a number of initiatives aimed at improving the mental health support provided to the people we employ, educate and serve. One of these initiatives included hiring a Mental Health Strategist, an entirely new role created to support the organization as we sought to create a culture that removes the stigma surrounding mental health. 

    Learn more about Sarah Ash, Goodwill’s Mental Health Strategist, and how she envisions making an impact in her new role.

    Tell us about your background and experience in the mental health care field.

    I am a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and have worked in settings such as schools, child welfare, health care, emergency services and private practice therapy. Depending on the role, my support of individuals’ mental health may have looked like barrier removal (much like Goodwill’s mission and life coaches offer to Goodwill employees and graduates), legal advocacy or traditional talk therapy. Fortunately, this sort of varied experience gave me a tremendous amount of insight into the way we approach “care” for others and how much more creative and expansive our care can be!

    Describe your current role at Goodwill.

    Currently, I serve as Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana’s Mental Health Strategist. This role was created in alignment with the Strategic Plan, which has a strategic objective dedicated to supporting the mental health of the individuals Goodwill employs, educates and serves. So far, this has looked like forming relationships across the organization to understand the unique challenges different areas face before partnering with them to develop ways to address those challenges. It has been exciting to think through the nuanced support we can implement in such a broad and diverse organization.

    What are some of the challenges employers are grappling with in terms of mental health in the workplace?

    The World Health Organization defines mental health as, “a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well and contribute to their community.” Even if we can all more or less agree on what mental health is, what we each need as individuals to achieve it can be vastly different! For employers, this can be a really challenging reality to navigate because it means that each employee needs something unique. So attempting to build something that is both equitable and adaptable is very difficult, but important work. 

    How is Goodwill responding to these challenges?

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    Empowering Older Americans through Employment

    [fa icon="calendar'] May 17, 2024 1:23:00 PM / by Sam Stockman posted in Employment, Retail, Mission Awareness

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    In recognition of Older Americans Month, we spoke with Patricia Culp about her journey with Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana. Patricia embarked on her journey with Goodwill in 2015, starting as a cashier at the Lafayette retail store. This occurred during a challenging period in her personal life; she had recently lost her father and assumed the role of caretaker for her mother, who was battling dementia.

    As her mother's condition progressed, Patricia transitioned to full-time caregiving, leading to her departure from her job at Goodwill. Following her mother's passing, Patricia found herself grappling with grief.

    "I didn’t know what to do with myself. I got depressed, and I felt like an orphan," Patricia said.

    Soon, Patricia found that she had more time on her hands than what she knew what to do with. Seeking a new sense of purpose, Patricia rejoined the Goodwill retail team at the same Lafayette location in September of 2022.

    "I was nervous, but I started to feel better as soon as I started," Patricia said.

    Thriving in her role on the sales floor, Patricia quickly established herself as a valued member of the retail team. Over time, she honed her skills across various departments, from cashier to textiles, wares, and books, positioning herself for future leadership opportunities.

    In April 2024, Patricia achieved a significant milestone in her career when she accepted the role of Team Lead at the Lafayette retail location. She aspires to emulate the leadership she has received from her mentors within the organization. Looking ahead, Patricia envisions a long-term commitment to Goodwill, expressing gratitude for the supportive environment it provides.

    "They are the kindest, nonjudgmental people I have ever met. I have so much more confidence in myself and others because of them," Patricia said.

    Are you or someone you know seeking employment? Check out current opportunities on our website. 

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    Making the Most of a Second Chance

    [fa icon="calendar'] Apr 30, 2024 3:15:57 PM / by Noelle Gray posted in Employment, New Beginnings, Mission Awareness

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    For over 10 years, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana's New Beginnings program has helped previously incarcerated people reenter their communities successfully and positively impacted its participants' recidivism or the rate of returning to prison. Compared to Indiana’s recidivism rate of 34%, Goodwill New Beginnings participants maintain a recidivism rate under 10%.

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    Chasing Dreams with The Excel Center

    [fa icon="calendar'] Apr 30, 2024 3:00:00 PM / by Noelle Gray posted in Employment, The Excel Center, Education, Goodwill Education

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    After working different jobs at minimum wage, Allen Kessinger realized that he had a dream of becoming an Indianapolis police officer – but he needed a high school diploma to apply for a position and begin training. A Core 40 diploma would allow Allen to earn a family-sustaining income and grow in his career.

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    Embracing Second Chances After Incarceration

    [fa icon="calendar'] Apr 5, 2024 3:30:00 PM / by Sam Stockman posted in Employment, Criminal History, Retail, Former Addiction, Mission Awareness, Mission Coaches, DEI

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    "My life is completely different now. I have resources, mobility and a support system. I finally have meaning," said Loretta "Lori" Fairfield, a Team Lead 2 at Goodwill.

    Lori's life prior to joining Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana was marked by trauma and adversity. She experienced the loss of multiple family members, while her parents battled alcohol addiction. Later in life, Lori herself grappled with addiction, leading to her incarceration in 1997.

    After spending over 25 years in the criminal justice system, Lori reached a turning point where she was determined to transform her life. Achieving seven months of sobriety, Lori entered house arrest with the intention of reentering the workforce. However, she encountered barriers securing employment due to her previous incarceration. At the suggestion of her caseworker, Lori embraced the opportunity to work for Goodwill and joined the Goodwill retail store in Lebanon as a wares producer in November 2021.

    During her tenure at Goodwill, Lori made significant progress in her personal and professional life. She established a more structured routine with her grandson, pursued her education and actively participated in various forms of outpatient therapy. Through therapy, Lori addressed the trauma she had experienced and worked on managing her severe social anxiety.

    Lori tackled financial challenges and set goals for advancing her career with her Goodwill Mission Coach, a life and career coach. Mission Coaches are available to all Goodwill employees and students. As she gained new skills and responsibilities, Lori was promoted to the role of Team Lead within her first year at Goodwill. Lori's peers recognized her progress, success and dedication to her role, resulting in another promotion to Team Lead 2 within a few months.

    "I love my job, the people and the diversity,” said Lori. “I enjoy helping people."

    Since joining Goodwill, Lori has achieved numerous milestones with the support of her team. Drawing on her life experiences, she finds common ground with others facing adversity and aspires to guide and support her peers as a strong leader.

    "I wouldn't be here without them. They stuck by me and supported me through my legal barriers, educational barriers and the dramatic things in my life. I have a career now!"

    Are you looking to start a career at Goodwill? Check out our website for current job openings!

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    Maintaining Independence with JTP | National Cleaning Week

    [fa icon="calendar'] Mar 26, 2024 3:00:00 PM / by Noelle Gray posted in Employment, Disability, Janitorial Training Program

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    Dyamond Twyman was referred to Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana through the Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis Skills for Independence, Transition and Employment program (SITE). This program helps young students with intellectual disabilities receive their transitional education on a college campus rather than in high school. 

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    Goodwill TalentSource™ Director Gives Back

    [fa icon="calendar'] Mar 22, 2024 3:00:00 PM / by Noelle Gray posted in Employment, TalentSource, Mission Awareness

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    For over 20 years, Kris Deckard has had two passions: helping people reach their goals and helping businesses find the talent they need. When she joined Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana, she was inspired by the organization taking time to develop, encourage and change the lives of its workforce with its own resources.

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    Shattering Stereotypes: Embracing Neurodiversity in the Workplace

    [fa icon="calendar'] Mar 19, 2024 11:00:00 AM / by Sam Stockman posted in Employment, ClickGoodwill, Retail, Mission Awareness, DEI

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