Moving to a new state presents a unique set of challenges for job seekers – a limited network, instability, and unfamiliarity with the new community and local culture. When Stanley moved to Charlotte, N.C., from Delaware, he started his own home improvement company, but because he had a very limited social network, his business never got off the ground. Stanley’s training and education, past work experiences and impressive resume made him an outstanding candidate for employment, but he needed help expanding his network, making connections and getting his foot in the door somewhere.
One day, Stanley was talking to his friend who suggested that Stanley go to Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont’s Job Connection. Stanley knew about Goodwill’s retail stores, but never knew the mission behind Goodwill until his friend told him that Goodwill helped people train for and find employment.
“I was familiar with Goodwill’s thrift stores because I used to shop there as a kid in Delaware,” Stanley said. “But I didn’t know everything that Goodwill did until my friend told me, so I decided to check it out for myself.”
Stanley came to Goodwill and was welcomed by a team of people ready to help him get in front of the right employers and find a career. A member of Goodwill’s Career Development Services team met with Stanley, learned about his skills, past work experiences and interests, and then referred him to Goodwill’s Business Relationship Management (BRM) team. Goodwill’s BRM team specializes in matching qualified Goodwill clients with hiring employers. The team manages hundreds of business and employer relationships in an effort to fill vacant positions with Goodwill clients eager to work.
Within a couple weeks of coming to Goodwill for help, Goodwill’s BRM team matched Stanley to a job opening at the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte. Stanley interviewed for the position and was hired as the Facilities Supervisor of Maintenance, a position he still holds today more than two years later. With his skills and expertise, Stanley has significantly decreased the shelter’s need for third-party maintenance contractors, an accomplishment of which he is very proud.
Although Stanley enjoys working in maintenance, what’s even more meaningful about his job is that he gets to motivate men at the shelter who are experiencing homelessness.
“I tell the men at the shelter to go to Goodwill if they need help finding a job,” Stanley said. “I tell them that you have to keep going. You cannot stop or get frustrated. You have to keep moving forward. Take what Goodwill can offer and apply it to you.”
Stanley’s journey has come full circle because now he is urging men at the shelter to go to Goodwill for help, only a couple years after his friend urged him to check out Goodwill when he needed help. A few of the men from the shelter took Stanley’s advice and have enrolled in some of Goodwill’s occupational skills training courses.
“Working at the Men’s Shelter really makes you rethink some things in your life,” Stanley said. “I’m glad to see those guys going to Goodwill for training and help. I’m happy I can be a mentor for them.”
Although Stanley enjoys his current career, his ultimate dream is to flip houses and retire by the time he’s 55 years old. The help Stanley found at Goodwill has reignited his entrepreneurial spirit, and the sky’s the limit.
“I appreciate what Goodwill did for me,” Stanley said. “Right now, a little side business that I own is starting to take off. I’m excited to see where it goes.”