Goodwill staff and program participants celebrate the success of the exciting new Work Readiness program.

Client appreciation2

Our Westchester & Lower Hudson Services Program recently expanded its employment support services to include a Work Readiness program, which gives individuals with disabilities with the GoodSkills they need to enter the workforce.

This Monday July 28, the Work Readiness Program held a consumer appreciation luncheon to celebrate the hard work of the program’s students and trainers.

Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Bank of New York Mellon, the Rehabilitation Services division of Goodwill NY-NJ is now able to offer more comprehensive training to clients seeking employment.

The Westchester & Lower Hudson Services program provides Diagnostic Vocational Evaluation and placement to individuals with varying of disabilities and mental illness. The program serves individuals with developmental, learning, and physical disabilities, including individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired.

In light of the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) this past weekend, Goodwill is excited to announce the success of one of our many programs which works to provide individuals with disabilities more opportunities for success.

Client appreciation3

According to Assistant Vice President of Rehabilitation Services, Aaron Shumeli, the Work Readiness program has been a wonderful addition to the services offered in Westchester. Using the funds from the Bank of NY Mellon grant, team members at the Westchester and Lower Hudson Services location were able to create a computer lab, hire a Goodskills trainer, and design a 12-15 week course Work Readiness curriculum.

The curriculum, which was developed by Goodwill staff member David Romeo and his team at the Westchester and Lower Hudson location, combines office skills and customer service training for individuals with disabilities. In order to participate in this program, clients must be referred from the Adult Career and Continuing Services (ACCES) department, which focuses on the education and employment needs of New York adults in need.

GoodSkills Trainer Andre Finley leads clients through the course. “[Andre] does an amazing job motivating the students in his class,” says Shumeli. 

At Monday’s celebration, Andre and the rest of the Goodwill staff was especially proud to celebrate three of the program’s graduates who were recently hired.

Mahmudul Hasan (pictured below) was hired to work at DonationXpress, Goodwill’s attended donation center, located in Bedford Hills, NY. There he provides customer service assistance and organizes donation items. 

Mahmudul Hasan2

Ludwig Odierna (not photographed) was hired at Tyler Technologies as an Appraisal Trainee.

Latoya Cobb (pictured below) is interning at the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) where she provides light office assistance.

Latoya graduate

Jerome Garrett (pictured below) works at the Goodwill New Rochelle store where he provides stock work assistance.

 Jerome Garrett

Monday’s luncheon celebrated each of these individual’s’ success stories after they were matched with jobs that were a good fit for the personal and professional skills they mastered during the Work Readiness Program.

The Westchester & Lower Hudson Services Program is located at 75 Riversdale Ave, Room #100; Yonkers, NY 10701. For inquiries on this program and its services please contact Linda Gonzalez at 914-423-0380.


Alyssa Raiola is a Journalism student at Northwestern University where she spends her time writing for campus publications, searching for new restaurants, and picking the perfect Instagram filters. Although she loves jogging along Lake Michigan and exploring the Windy City, her heart lies back home in New Jersey where pizza is the right shape and bagels are a delicacy. This summer, she’s back in the Big Apple interning and blogging with Goodwill Industries before she heads off to Seville, Spain to study abroad for the fall semester.


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