WHEN HALEY WAS JUST a toddler she experienced a traumatic brain injury. “
We were told she would never walk or talk again,” said Haley’s mom Melissa.
Haley proved all of her doctors wrong and today thrives working as a retail sales associate at the Norton Shores Goodwill store.
In 2015, while Haley was a high school senior at Orchard View High School (OVHS), she enrolled in Goodwill’s Customer Service Training program. As a result of a unique collaboration between Goodwill Industries, Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD), Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), and OVHS, a micro-sized Goodwill store was opened inside the high school to support the training program. Named “Cardinal Corners” after the school’s mascot, the student-run store is stocked with trendy, youthful, second-hand clothing items geared toward students.
The 18-week training program was designed for transitional students interested in working in the customer service / retail field. Using classroom curriculum from the National Retail Federation (NRF) students also received hands-on training experience operating the store. Upon completion of the program, Haley passed a final exam and received a transferable customer service certification from the NRF.
After expressing a desire to work in a Goodwill store in the community, Haley was identified by her instructor to interview for a part-time opening at the Norton Shores Goodwill store. Haley applied for the job, and with some interview coaching and assistance with her résumé, Haley impressed the store manager and was offered the job.
“Coming to work makes me feel happy,” she said. “I am achieving the goals I have set for myself.”
Haley takes pride in her work and enjoys the team atmosphere and working with customers. She works the cash register, stocks the sales floor, sorts and prices donations, and more.
“Haley sets the tone for the store,” Store Manager Nancy Strang said. “She is contagiously happy and joyful.”
Now with a full year of employment under her belt, Haley continues to build her job skills, confidence, and independence working at the Goodwill store.
- Nancy Strang, Manager
This program is a combination of classroom instruction and paid, on-the-job training to prepare participants for a career in customer service. The intensive program utilizes curriculum from the National Retail Federation providing an overview of the retail industry, customer service, sales, and operational strengths. Graduates will gain the skills and knowledge needed for entry-level customer service work.