Employer Partnerships Provide Real-World Experience and Mentorship

Goodwill is known for helping people find work. But we know success isn’t achieved alone, which is why we encourage partnership and collaboration to help our team and the people we serve in achieving their goals.


“This internship has literally changed the trajectory of my life,” Justin explained. “To get in the position that I’m working in right now as a SharePoint Administrator, I would have had to do a lot more to even be considered for this position.”

Justin was one of four advanced IT graduates in 2022 selected to intern with Polypore International, a leading global high technology company. The nine-month pilot program in partnership with Apparo provides paid, hands-on experience for Goodwill graduates – in addition to mentorship.

Apparo, a local nonprofit that provides tech and business solutions to other nonprofits, helped with the development of this program.

“We can be a solution to a problem that your company might be having in regard to your talent pipeline,” said Kristen Reed, Corporate Engagement Manager for Apparo.

The experience was a success for Justin and Polypore International. Justin now works as a Business Execution Consultant – SharePoint Administrator with Wells Fargo, and Polypore is training its second cohort of interns from Goodwill, this time for a 12-month internship.

“I realized throughout the process, that it’s not really about a degree or a certification. Employers just want to know if you can do the work. Goodwill prepared me to be here where I am today.”



Partnerships come in many different forms at Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. In addition to internships, we also provide mentorship opportunities to our participants, thanks to employer partners. A dozen women enrolled in our fall 2022 advanced IT courses had the opportunity to receive mentorship from executives and leaders with Accenture, an IT and consulting firm committed to the advancement of women in IT.

Ritu was paired with Melinda Sansone, Senior Manager of Data Architecture & Business Integration with Accenture. “I really valued her time,” said Ritu, a graduate of Goodwill’s Data Analyst course.

“The mentoring was very beneficial because it motivated and elevated us.”

Melinda reviewed and provided feedback to Ritu on her resume, encouraged her to continue her IT education, but most importantly, she gave her the confidence needed to get back in the workforce.

“When you are on a career break you feel that you are lacking something,” Ritu explained when talking about taking time off from work to raise her children. “When I spoke to her, I told her what projects I have done in the past. She was really happy to mentor me.”

With Melinda’s direction, Ritu continued her IT education and received certification in cloud technology, in addition to certifications she acquired at Goodwill.

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