Growing up, Calvin struggled with the pace of school, but after a lot of hard work, determination, and support from his family, he earned his GED in 2013. However, when it came time to find a job, establishing a network of employer connections and finding the right employers to get in front of proved to be a barrier to getting hired. Calvin had a lot to offer, but needed someone to help him get in front of the right people.
That’s when Calvin’s vocational rehabilitation counselor referred him to Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont for job coaching. He was assigned to David Washam, Vocational Coaching Specialist at Goodwill, who served as Calvin’s advocate for employment, helped him get in front of hiring managers, and supported him during the interviewing process.
David noticed Calvin’s potential, positivity and drive right away.
“Cal always has a great attitude about life and is someone who is eager to do his best,” said David.
After assessing Calvin’s strengths and learning about his interests, David connected Calvin with Micah Javier, district manager at Goodwill and previous store manager at Goodwill’s Ballantyne retail store. Micah interviewed Calvin, with David by his side for support.
“I was very nervous about what my first impression would be and what the interviewer would think of me, but having David in the room made me feel more comfortable,” said Calvin.
During the interview, Micah observed Calvin’s eagerness to do good work and offered Calvin a temporary position as a donation processor at the store. Over the next few months, Micah noticed Calvin’s work ethic and how well he interacted with his colleagues and customers, and offered Calvin a permanent position.
Calvin has been very successful in his new role. In June 2014, Micah selected Calvin to begin processing and scanning books for the store. Thanks to Calvin’s diligent work, book sales in the store and online have increased 235 percent.
“When I looked at those numbers, I said to myself ‘Wow! I did that?’,” said Calvin.
With Calvin’s success has come a newfound sense of confidence, achievement and ambition.
“I was Employee of the Quarter in 2014, and that made me feel like I had accomplished something and had climbed the ladder,” said Calvin. “I hope to keep on doing what I’m doing and one day to be sitting behind a desk as a store manager.”
Calvin is very proud of his accomplishments and grateful to Goodwill for helping him solidify a fulfilling career.
“Goodwill has really opened things up for me – working with people, learning how a business works, and it’s validating to be able to bring home a paycheck,” said Calvin. “I just want people to know that I love my job.”