Kevin Roca was no stranger to the construction industry, but taking Goodwill’s free training courses helped him advance his career.
“I’d known about the Goodwill program since high school, because of The ROC program, but I wasn’t able to sign up then,” Kevin shared. “One day, when I was passing by [the Goodwill Construction Skills Training Center], the sign said they were offering classes for adults.”
Kevin had been working in the industry for four years, putting up drywall and Sheetrock. However, the work was inconsistent, prompting him to explore new opportunities that would help him secure a more stable position.
“I was already in the construction industry, but the work would slow down. I was always coming up short, and I just had a baby, so I didn’t want that,” he explained. “I wanted to see if I could learn and expand myself a little bit more, and I’ve been doing pretty good ever since.”
Kevin signed up for Goodwill’s Construction Basics course.
“The class was mostly about safety, but I learned about a couple of tools that I had never used, and I learned how to read the scales on blueprints,” he shared.
Afterward, he went on to sign up for Goodwill’s Blueprint Reading & Estimating course.
“I already had an idea of how to read blueprints, but [the class] has been helping me with the codes,” Kevin emphasized. “They’re breaking it down to me on the things I didn’t know, and that’s what I’m really enjoying.”
In addition to Goodwill’s free training courses, participants are also offered free wraparound services, such as working with a Career Navigator. Keitha Stewart was Kevin’s Career Navigator, and her assistance helped him feel more prepared when applying for jobs.
“She helped me a lot, because I was really stuck on my resume,” he said. “She broke it down step by step for me, and it made me feel more comfortable when I applied for jobs with that resume. I also really struggled with mock interviews, and Keitha would call me for two or three weeks straight to work on it with me.”
Through working with Goodwill’s Employer Engagement Team, Kevin secured a job working as a Journeyman at Swinerton Construction Company. Shortly after, he was also able to start work in the carpenter apprenticeship program.
“When I talked with them, they said that me coming from Goodwill gave me an advantage, because they were looking to hire somebody from there. They were looking for somebody [with experience], but they never expected to find it there. They also recently hired someone else from Goodwill, and I’m training him right now,” Kevin said.
“Goodwill helped me with my confidence,” he shared. “The class was great, because for it to be free, you learn a lot. I’ve been recommending it to people in my company. I tell them, ‘It’s free, it’s hands on and it’s totally worth it.’”
Courses like the ones Kevin took are available free of charge to the community, thanks to shopping and donating at Goodwill’s 31 retail locations, in addition to donations from community and corporate donors.