Goodwill Industries helps people train for, find, and keep good jobs — providing hope, pride, and self sufficiency to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.
Goodwill offers a broad range of workforce development programs and services to fulfill a diverse set of community needs. Services vary depending on individuals’ wants, needs, and situation.
Some people find their way to Goodwill because of limited skills or work history, some have physical or developmental disabilities, while others are referred through welfare or community correction systems. Goodwill helps people earn a paycheck while they are preparing for permanent jobs by placing them in temporary jobs or in jobs at Goodwill. Goodwill also works in collaboration with other businesses and community organizations to create opportunities and assistance for people who need help finding a job.
Services described below are available at the Goodwill’s headquarter facility at 271 East Apple Avenue in Muskegon, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or at the Goodwill Workforce Development Center at 950 West Norton in Muskegon, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Workforce Development Programs & Services
Goodwill’s career development services help individuals develop, plan, and acquire career goals. Goodwill career counselors are available to assist participants referred through Michigan Works!, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, or the Department of Human Services, in assessment of their skills and interest, and lead them through the career exploration process to create a structured plan with specific career objectives.
Employability Assessment Program
The purpose of this program is to determine a person’s job readiness. The focus is on assessment, not training. Serving persons with disabilities, program participants are referred by Community Mental Health Services of Muskegon County. The program was developed to provide assistance to the Michigan Department of Career Development in determining when a participant is fully ready and capable of community-based employment.
Employment Support Services
A variety of employment services are offered to anyone visiting Goodwill’s Workforce Development Center. They include: résumé writing and composition assistance, access to computer stations for composing and printing cover letters, Internet job search and posting through the Michigan Talent Bank, access to newspaper job listings, use of phone or fax for the purpose of securing a job, and meeting rooms for interviews or meetings with prospective employers.
GoodTemps is a temporary staffing agency offering displaced workers, ex-offenders, and others, assistance in entering or re-entering the job market. Temporary assignments often lead to permanent hire. Workers are offered free job retention and financial literacy training, and provided with needed supports such as assistance with clothing, transportation, etc. GoodTemps is housed inside Goodwill’s Workforce Development Center. For more information call (231) 739-9010 or visit www.goodtempsmi.com.
Jobs, Education, and Training (JET)
JET is a curriculum-based program sponsored by Michigan Works! and provides career counselling, employability skills, job search assistance, and a supportive environment to individuals who are transitioning from welfare to work. Program participants are referred by the Michigan Department of Human Services and access these services at the Goodwill Workforce Development Center.
Key Train is an interactive, easy-to-use, self-paced training system for improving workplace skills measured by the WorkKeys assessment system. (See WorkKeys entry.) Participants can assess their potential score, review topics in each skill area, and practice problems similar to those on the WorkKeys assessment. Available to any Goodwill program participant, this training system is administered at the Goodwill Workforce Development Center.
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 Michigan Works! or Prison Reentry services.
Michigan Works! Services
Michigan Works! Workforce Development Center provides a broad spectrum of assistance for all job seekers. Services include career counseling, resume writing and composition assistance, employability skills training, job search assistance, occupational training, and other supports. The Michigan Works! Norton Site operated by Goodwill is located at 950 West Norton, Suite C in Muskegon.
Prisoner Reentry / Second Chance
Prisoner Reentry (PR) 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. Second Chance is a federally funded initiative that provides participants with children under 18 years old, family-focused services including housing assistance, mentoring, health services, and employment readiness. Program participants are referred by the Michigan Department of Corrections Parole Board.
This program is a computer recycling/re-use initiative in collaboration with Dell that provides job opportunities for participants enrolled in various Goodwill workforce development programs. Unwanted computers are accepted at any Goodwill store across the state. Computers are sorted, broken down, and their components are recycled responsibly. Newer computer are refurbished and resold with the proceeds funnelling back into workers’ wages. For more information, visit reconnectpartnership.com.
Return-to-Work facilitates the return of injured workers to the workforce as soon as it is medically appropriate. Goodwill assists employees who have sustained an injury or illness by providing temporary, alternate, or light-duty work. Gradual increases in length or difficulty of the work builds strength and tolerance levels until the worker can return to his/her regular employment. Call 722-7871 for additional information.
Supported Employment Program
Targeted primarily toward people with developmental disabilities or mental illness, this model of service provides one-on-one training and on-going support for successful transition to community-based employment. The program combines community job development, job coaching, and long-term follow-up to maximize employment potential. Participants are referred through Michigan Rehabilitation Services.
Ticket To Work
The Ticket to Work Program provides most people receiving Social Security benefits more choices for receiving employment services. Under this program, the Social Security Administration (SSA) issues “tickets” to eligible beneficiaries who, in turn, may choose to assign those tickets to Goodwill Industries of West Michigan, a qualified Employment Network (EN), to obtain employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services necessary to achieve a vocational (work) goal. Goodwill staff coordinates and provides appropriate services to help beneficiaries find and maintain employment. Call (231) 722-7871 for additional information.
Transitional Housing and Employment Services Program
Focusing on helping homeless families make a successful transition into steady employment and stable housing, this program extends beyond traditional short-term emergency shelter. In addition to housing, program participants receive employability skills training, job search and placement assistance, financial literacy training, and other supports as needed in order to achieve self-sufficiency. Collaborative partner, Community enCompass refers program participants and maintains the Goodwill homes in Muskegon County. Similar services are also offered in Manistee County by calling (231) 398-7328.
Goodwill provides in-depth, comprehensive diagnostic assessment and evaluation encompassing: physical capabilities, vocational interests, aptitude testing, knowledge of occupational information, academic skills, verbal/cognitive skills, work skills and work tolerance, general work habits and characteristics, and vocational options and objectives. Individuals are referred through Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) and other community organizations for assessments based on the needs listed above. Referral source serves as the authorizing agency for coverage of fees incurred by programing. Program length is dependant of types of assessments/service authorized. For additional Information please call (231) 722-7871.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Goodwill provides free tax preparation service for qualifying low- to moderate-income individuals and families. Volunteer preparers help filers maximize their returns through state and federal tax credits such as Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Michigan Home Heating Credit, and others. Goodwill is part of a coalition of nonprofit organizations providing this service in West Michigan each tax season. To become a VITA Volunteer call (231) 722-7871 or visit www.volunteermatch.org. To schedule an appointment today visit www.VITAWestMichigan.org.
Work Activity / Skill Building Program
This program is available as a service option for persons with developmental disabilities who need long-term, facility-based training and employment, or who choose not to seek community-based employment. Participants may select from paid vocational training, basic skills building, community-based education, and volunteer opportunities. Participants are referred from Community Mental Health Services of Muskegon County, MAISD, local school districts, and other referral sources. Referring agencies are responsible for fees incurred from programming. Days of services are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Frequency of participation in programing is customized by individual service plans and needs. Additional information is available in Goodwill’s participant handbook. For additional Information please call (231) 722-7871.
Work Adjustment Program
Serving persons with little or no work experience — or those who have been out of work for an extended period of time — the intent of this program is to help individuals understand the meaning, value, and demands of work, or to re-establish skills, attitudes, and work behaviors. Work Adjustment also includes “situational assessments,” which are trial periods of on-the-job observations of skills and needs. Referral sources include Community Mental Health Services, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, and other outside organizations. Referral agencies fund costs incurred by programming. The time period for placement is dictated by individual plan of service. For additional Information please call (231) 722-7871.
Work Readiness Program
Work Readiness is designed to provide psychosocial / vocational rehabilitation for persons with mental illness. This training focuses on maintaining psychiatric stability through the therapeutic power of work. Job seeking and maintenance, money management, self-care, use of leisure time, stress management, and improving health care skills are all covered. Clients are referred and supported by Community Mental Health Services of Muskegon County, MAISD, local school districts, and other referral sources. Referring agencies are responsible for any fees incurred from programming. Days of programming are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Frequency of participation in programing is determined by individuals service plan and needs. Additional information is available in Goodwill’s participant handbook. For additional Information please call (231) 722-7871.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
Sponsored by Michigan Works!, this federal program offers assessment, job placement assistance, career counseling, and other supports to promote employment, job retention, and occupational skills training for youths, adults, and dislocated workers. Visit the Workforce Development Center for additional information or call (231) 739-0910.
WorkKeys is a nationally standardized job-skills assessment testing system measuring “real world” skills critical to job success. The WorkKeys system is centered on three major components: reading for information, applied mathematics, and locating information. Individuals who test favorably qualify for a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). This assessment is coordinated through Michigan Works!