Goodwill employees may look like those in any other store, but many have a deeper story. In this week's Doing Good in the Neighborhood, FOX34 found out how the resale store provides job training for people who may have a hard time getting employed.
Now a Goodwill employee himself, Joe Robledo, is an example of job placement at the local level. Robledo faced physical challenges like arthritis and joint pain. He also had a criminal record and hadn't graduated high school. After going to jail in 2009, Robledo knew something needed to change. His options were limited but he was not ready to give up. It was a perfect storm for Goodwill's team looking to help.
"It doesn't matter what type of barrier you have, you know. You can get around it," Robledo said.
Seven years ago, at the suggestion of his sister, Robledo reached out to Goodwill. There, he went through job training programs and prepared to take the GED test. It was that second chance that allowed Robledo to turn his life around. With hard work and the right direction, Robledo eventually earned his GED and now sets his sights on college.
Since then, according to Goodwill of Northwest Texas' CEO, Robledo has continued to inspire others to change their lives.
"He has continued to grow in his confidence and in his encouragement of other people. Encouraging people, they just grab on. Take somebody's hands. Let them give you a hand up," said Robin Raney.
Goodwill offers classes in Microsoft Office, job searching, basic job skills, mock interviews, and much more. The classes and mentorship are free of charge and open to the public.
"The same way that the donations that we're given, we're giving a second chance to be re-purposed... it's the same philosophy when we have applicants that come here we're giving them a second chance and a second chance to re-purpose their life and find meaning for it," Victoria Rodriguez, director of workforce development at Goodwill of Northwest Texas, said.
If you know a person or organization doing good in West Texas email email@example.com.