Local organization looks to strengthen work force

Joe Toppe Staff Writer

October 30, 2013

EASLEY – Providing tools for gainful employment in Easley and Powdersville remains the central focus for the Goodwill Job Connection.

“We help people find jobs by offering them the services and skills they would need to find gainful employment,” said Employment Specialist, Kristen Henry. “We provide job leads each day, we have computers available for a job seeker, we have resume services, and general print and faxing services. Whatever need they have to find employment, we can take care of it either in our office or we will lead them to another agency that can.”

Henry said each employment specialist may host several job fairs each month.

“In the Easley and Powdersville location, we are able to average six to eight job fairs each month for local manufacturers and other industries,” Henry said. “Each month, we are able to place 10 to 20 percent of those people as a result of the job fairs.”

Goodwill Job Connection is a department of Goodwill Industries and helps to fulfill its organizational mission.

“The mission states that Goodwill Industries helps people become independent through education and training, leading to employment,” Henry said. “When we have a job seeker come into the office, the first thing we do is find out their skills and background and any barriers they may have to employment. At that point, we can determine their best direction.”

According to Henry, the Job Connection caters to the local employment demands.

“In our area, manufacturing is the booming industry,” Henry said. “What we would like to do is bring in a qualified candidate and refer them to an appropriate location that could lead to a full time and long term completive position with a manufacturer.”

In addition to helping people find competitive employment, the Goodwill Job Connection also provides system navigational assistance for those in need of unemployment benefits.

“We are unable to get people their unemployment but we can definitely help them in navigating through the system,” Henry said.

Goodwill Industries served nearly 50,000 people last year and were able to place 8,669 people into employment.