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Goodwill Easterseals offers a program in Escambia and Okaloosa counties called High School High Tech, which provides services to students with disabilities in juvenile justice facilities, one of the most challenging populations we serve. We try to create meaningful opportunities for students that can be provided within the restrictions of a juvenile justice program.
Over the past two years, in collaboration with the Dept. of Juvenile Justice, we have recognized that the key to success for students goes far beyond basic work and soft skills. Students must leave the facilities with actual hard working skills to have a better chance of success in their home communities. We rose to that challenge and along with other community partners have been able to provide a wide range of industry certifications to students, including Oil Change & Tire Rotation, Fork Lift Operation, Safe Serve Food Handlers, Retail & Customer Service, Adobe Certified Expert, and Hospitality Certification. As a result, youth served in these programs have achieved a recidivism rate of 27%, well below the state average of 44%.
Last week, The Able Trust presented Goodwill Easterseals with a Guidepost Award for our commitment to providing School-Based Preparatory Experiences to incarcerated youth with disabilities, leading to more productive lives and community reintegration. The Guideposts for Success are nationally recognized and evidenced based guidelines for developing a successful secondary transition program for high school students with disabilities.
On behalf of our staff and the HSHT program, we are honored to have received this prestigious award and thank The Able Trust for recognizing our dedication to those we serve on the Gulf Coast.
Nicholas Marlin, age 20, came to Goodwill Easterseals looking to fulfill his dream. Nic was sent to us from ADRS after being involved with our Transitional Youth program in high school. And he already knew he loved one thing the most: cars.
Nic spent a lot of quality time with his dad while he was growing up, helping him fix cars from the time he could hold a wrench. “We always had little projects building things around the house,” he said. “Eventually we got some go carts. That’s really when my love of cars started.”
Nic could have chosen any career, but he knew he wanted to work with cars more than anything. “I wasn’t looking for just a job, I was looking for a career, something that was guaranteed,” he said.
Goodwill Easterseals helps youth transition from high school into jobs that work for them. Our staff provides instruction on basic job readiness and soft skills as well as hands-on work experience. “He was blessed to get in this job so early in his life,” said Kathi Abell, Program Manager at Goodwill Easterseals. “When Bay Chevrolet called looking for a worker in their body shop, I immediately thought of Nic. Not everyone gets in a job they love so quickly. This was obviously just SUPPOSED to be.”
“He’s a great kid, he comes in and works hard every day,” said Robin Gilmore, Body Shop Manager at Bay Chevrolet. “He pays attention, he’s reliable and he’s dependable. He’s going to be a great asset to us.”
“Every manager here speaks highly of Nicholas,” said Kathi. “He’s just always smiling and happy. They love him here, and he is so dedicated. This is going to be a long term career for him. I really think he is going to be raising a family here.”
Nic has a long and happy future of success with so much potential and room for growth at his dream job. Congratulations, Nic. We know your family is so proud of you, and we are too!
Goodwill Easterseals is looking for dedicated and hardworking individuals to begin their career with us! We currently have entry level and management level job openings in our Fairhope, Mobile County, and Florida stores. Did you know that when you work for GES, you get to change lives while earning a paycheck as well as receive some really great benefits? Find all of our job postings HERE!
On sale NOW in all our Mobile stores, get a bundle of 7 Christmas on the Coast official ornaments for only $40… that’s over 50% off! There are a limited number of bundles so get them before they sell out. Pensacola bundles are coming soon!
To purchase, visit one of our ALABAMA STORES