While working the cash register at Goodwill Highlands Ranch, Jalen Kittrell is earning immediate income and gaining experience that can last a lifetime.
“It gave me a lot of different experience with diversity and people, building different customer service skills that led me to my career,” he said.
Kittrell is one of the millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis.
With help from Goodwill Industries, however, he was able to find work.
“Being able to have a job during the pandemic, it made me feel beyond grateful,” he said.
While grateful for this job, Kittrell is transitioning to another industry after receiving training through Goodwill’s BankWork$ program, one of the nonprofit’s many job training and support programs.
“Our mission overall is to help individuals with disadvantages achieve their highest level of personal economic independence,” said Bradd Hafer, marketing and communications manager with Goodwill of Colorado.
With the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting 10 million Americans are currently unemployed, Hafer says Goodwill has opened up job opportunities for thousands of people across the country.
“If you don’t have a resume, if you don’t have experience, you don’t have a work background, the fact that Goodwill can give that foundational training and even see you through to placing you into employment is just a wonderful thing,” he said.
Despite landing a new job in a new industry, Kittrell plans on still working at Goodwill once a week, saying the job provides more than an income, it’s about the experience.
“To work at a Goodwill center is a place of growth,“ he said. “It’s a place where you can inspire others and the other people in this community will inspire you.”