What's New

Success Story: Johnnie

Johnnie served 48 months in prison. When he was released he had $137 to his name, no home, no transportation, and no support. Referred to Goodwill by his parole officer, Johnnie was enrolled in the Offender Success (formerly Prisoner Reentry) program in July of 2015.

From the beginning of his time in the Offender Success program, Johnnie was highly motivated. He was an active participant in the employment readiness group which focused on résumé building, job skills and retention, and interviewing. Johnnie was a leader in the classroom and every day showed his motivation to change his life.

After completing his employment readiness training, Johnnie was enrolled in Goodwill’s Managed Employment Program where he received paid work skills training in Goodwill’s Industrial Services Center performing light industrial work contracted from area manufacturers. He was quickly recognized as a valuable employee and was hired through GoodTemps to extend his work assignment at Goodwill while his case workers continued to look for permanent employment for him in the community.

In October 2015, Johnnie received a call from Seaver Finishing, a Grand Haven-based product paint coating/finishing company who had learned about the Offender Success program and was interested in giving one of Goodwill’s ex-offender program participants a chance. Johnnie interviewed well, landed the job, and has been with them ever since. Seaver Finishing is so pleased with Johnnie’s performance they asked Goodwill case managers if they could clone Johnnie and bring them a few more like him. Johnnie has not been tardy, called in sick, or taken a single vacation day since starting work!

“My life is 100% better now than it was before I went to prison,” Johnnie states. “Thanks to Goodwill and the case workers, I am on a mission to succeed!” Johnnie was able to purchase a car with the money he earned at Goodwill. He has established a savings account with plans to buy a house within a year. “I make plans for my life now. I cherish what I have even though I don’t have a lot, and I really like my job. I’m so glad I did this. It got me going in the right direction and I know I won’t end up a statistic. I’m not going back to bad habits.”

Johnnie is very deserving of acknowledgement and is a great representation of Goodwill and the Offender Success program. He is also a mentor to others. Johnnie still checks in with his Goodwill case managers and encourages other program participants to turn their lives around just as he has.

Offender Success

The Offender Success program is a state-wide strategic approach to creating safer neighborhoods and better citizens through the delivery of a seamless plan of services, programming, support, and supervision for prisoners re-entering the community. Program participants are referred by the Michigan Department of Corrections Parole Board.

Managed Employment Program

The Managed Employment Program uses time-limited, wage-paying jobs that combine real work, skill development, and supportive services to transition participants rapidly and successfully into the labor market. Participants learn the customs and routines of work, establish an employment record, and generate employer references to enhance their competitiveness. Participation is through eligibility requirements determined through the Offender Success and EXIT programs.

Return to What's New