CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Goodwill is familiar from its donation stations and storefronts., but it has been helping people get jobs for more than 70 years.
And during the COVID-19 pandemic, that is helping more than ever as Goodwill South Texas is launching its new virtual initiative "Let's Get Back to Work." The program is designed to give people the skills necessary to land a job in today's world.
"The end goal is that you will get a job," Goodwill South Texas senior employment consultant LaVerne Crumrine said.
Crumrine is one of Goodwill South Texas' many employment consultants. Her job is to guide those who enter the program.
The program itself is designed for anyone looking for a job, no matter the reason.
"If you're unemployed, underemployed; if you just graduated from college or high school and feel lost, we are here to help you," she said.
Crumrine is working with Carlos Garcia, who is looking for work after being out of the workforce for 13 years. He was released from prison in October 2019.
"I know what I did was wrong," Garcia said of the crime for which he was imprisoned. "I wish I could take it back."
After being released, he immediately began looking for work. Goodwill South Texas welcomed him with open arms as a member of its donation-station warehouse.
Now, Garcia is looking for a career and is enrolled in the program.
The program is split into three parts: First is digital-skills training for those who need help working the technology. Garcia is one such person.
"When I came out, technology had already changed and I was like 'Wow,' " he said.
Crumrine helps him learn basic digital skills needed to work in today's society. Once that is complete, he moved onto job-readiness training. This phase includes résumé building, cover-letter practice and mock interviews.
The final stage of the program is placement. Goodwill South Texas hopes to get its participants back to work.
Those who are looking to get back to work through Goodwill South Texas can visit their website here.
Garcia said he was lucky to land back on his feet after serving time, and that Goodwill South Texas has a lot to do with that. Now, he is hoping to be an example for those who have lost their way.
"I am working for myself, for my kids and for family," he said. "I want to show people look if I can do it, anyone can do it."