Success Story: Camryn

Camryn Hutchinson is a 20-year-old who is just getting started in her career. Like many high school graduates, she started college the semester after graduating.  

“Starting my junior or senior year [of high school], that’s when they really started to push college and the military as my only two options. They never really glossed on going into the workforce as an option,” Camryn said. “I spent a year in college trying to make myself get into it. I wasn’t feeling very comfortable, and it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, so I left school. My mom told me I’m always fixing things and I’m good with my hands. So, she told me to look at Goodwill.”  

Camryn signed up for Goodwill’s Construction Basics training program, and then later took the Electrical training program, both of which take place at the state-of-the-art Goodwill Constructions Skills Training Center.  

“It was a little intimidating at first, because [in the class] it was me and one other woman; but all the men were super cool, nice people that had been in the trades for a while,” she said. “I liked the Electrical class because my instructor made all the information easy to digest. It seemed like a lot when I was reading it until we went to the workshop and put stuff together. Then it was like, ‘Oh, I get this! This is what we just talked about.’” 

In addition to tuition-free training programs, Goodwill participants are assigned a Career Navigator, like Robert Johnson, who helps guide them in their new career path.  

“I was a little apprehensive at first. I haven’t had the best luck with counselors,” Camryn shared. “I told Robert [about my] experience, and he said he was here to help me. He helped me build my resume. It wasn’t the prettiest before, but now it’s got all the details. He helped me spiff it up and make it a little cleaner.” 

After completing the Construction Basics traning program, Goodwill’s Employer Engagement Team helped Camryn secure a summer internship with Barringer Construction. She was a project management intern, shadowing the superintendent at the Phat Burrito construction site in Charlotte.  

“When I was taking Construction Basics, I wasn’t really sure which trade I wanted to do. So when I got the offer from Barringer from Matthew Robson [of Goodwill’s Employer Engagement Team], I got to work with them and see every trade and field and get more of a feel for what I wanted to do. I started to lean more toward electrical,” Camryn shared. 

In September, with her experience and networking at her internship, Camryn found a job as an Electrical Helper at Pitt Electric while still taking Goodwill’s Electrical training program. In addition, she became a Teaching Assistant for Goodwill’s Construction Basics program.  

“[It feels like] a huge weight off my shoulders,” Camryn exclaimed, when asked what it feels like to start her career. “It felt like a lot of pressure to have everything figured out at 17. I can’t wrap my mind around how much this changed the course of my life.” 

Training programs like the ones Camryn took are free to the community, thanks to shopping and donating at our 35 retail locations, along with philanthropic donations from donors.  

“I don’t know where I’d be if the program wasn’t free,” Camryn emphasized. “I couldn’t afford trade school tuition. I’m lucky I got my foot in the door at Goodwill; that opened a trillion more doors for me.” 

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