“It’s been the best thing in the world to me,” Roxanne said. “I’m a Goodwill cheerleader!” This is the story of how a woman, new to the Charlotte area, found her dream job with the help of a strong network through Goodwill.
For 20 years, Roxanne was a licensed clinical therapist in Minnesota. Her specialty was working with suicidal and sometimes homicidal youth. Toward the end of that 20-year stint, Roxanne was feeling exhausted, and close to burning out. It was time for a change.
A lifelong lover of mosaics and tilework, Roxanne considered switching careers and joining the trades industry. After working with troubled children for so long, she looked forward to working with her hands, and putting her mind at ease, after spending years carrying the weight of her patients’ struggles long after hours. In 2018, she moved to Charlotte and started searching for a path to a career in tiling. That’s when she found Goodwill.
In January 2019, she enrolled in the free Construction Basics course, followed by Intermediate Carpentry. At the Goodwill Construction Skills Training Center, Roxanne found a group of “Northerners” who quickly became “a little family,” she said. “We created this cohesion and we passed information to each other,” Roxanne said.
All Goodwill University participants have access to Career Navigators – a team of coaches who partner with them to help update their resumes, prepare for interviews, and guide them to the career of their dreams, one step at a time. Roxanne’s Career Navigator, Keitha Stewart, invited Roxanne to a career fair hosted by Goodwill. Through that fair, Roxanne landed a job at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. “The biggest change for me is switching the type of job I was doing, and understanding the emotional impact of that change,” Roxanne said. It’s quite the leap going from counseling others to being in the trades! From the airport, she went to a construction company that focused on gas pipelines. It wasn’t long before her supervisors saw that Roxanne had management potential, and she was promoted!
But then, COVID-19 hit. Roxanne was laid off.
Out of the blue, Matt Robson, Employer Engagement Specialist, gave Roxanne a call with the opportunity to apply for a tile pre-apprenticeship with a local company. “I arranged site tours for a few of our students in November (Roxanne being one of them). She made a great impression on the team, landed an interview and then a job offer three weeks later,” Matt said. Roxanne started her new job in early December 2020.
This transition from therapy to tilework is still in progress for Roxanne. Her journey will include the pre-apprenticeship she began in December, an apprenticeship, and hopefully end in permanent employment in the commercial mosaic and tile installation industry. “Goodwill is definitely making contacts with companies who offer Goodwill students opportunities for gainful employment,” Roxanne said. Students have the benefit of working with a team of passionate professionals who truly care about their long-term prosperity, and are connected with strong employers looking for top talent in the Charlotte region. Learn more about our free construction training courses at goodwillsp.org/train, and start your dream career today.