Located in the heart of South Bronx, NY, the Walmart Foundation-funded ‘Beyond Jobs’ program at Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey serves one of the poorest districts in the United States. According to the New York City Human Resources Administration, the Bronx has more children on public assistance than any other New York City borough.
“Beyond Jobs offers training and employment services for displaced homemakers who need to work after being out of the job market for several years,” says William Forrester, president and CEO of Goodwill of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey.
“We help those unemployed or underemployed single parents affected by life issues such as divorce, death of a spouse, illness, abandonment or domestic violence.”
For most single mothers in the area, the number one priority is to keep their children safe. Many of these women did not thrive in traditional school settings, so Goodwill focused its program on turning job seekers into job holders in high-growth industries such as health care, retail and hospitality.
A single mother of two young boys, Diana Rodriguez was referred to Beyond Jobs from Goodwill’s welfare-to-work program. Through her drive and determination to provide a better life for herself and her family, Rodriguez completed first aid and CPR/AED training, as well as customer service training. In less than a month, she was hired to work as a home health aide recruiting coordinator and is now earning wages to support her family.
“The Beyond Jobs team believed in me even when I had no faith in my capabilities,” says Rodriguez. “They highlighted my strengths, motivated me, and supported my choices.”
If you’d like more information on the program, please leave a comment below or email Natalie Bryan, the Beyond Jobs program coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’re wondering what you can do to help, just keep on shopping, donating, and spreading the Goodwill.