KRA and Goodwill Collaboration Puts People to Work

The Supportive Work Project (SWP), a collaborative effort of the KRA Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (KRA/VIEW) Program and the Norfolk area Goodwill Industries, has provided more than 145 KRA/VIEW customers with employment opportunities during the past 5 years.  Not all positions were permanent fulltime jobs at the outset. SWP participants receive continuing guidance from KRA/VIEW Career Agents, and Goodwill Employment Specialists assist participants in developing appropriate skill sets, and perform job searches for participants, both inside and outside the Goodwill system. Generally, positions are 35-hour-a-week, 3-month opportunities that, more often than not, lead to full-time jobs. An essential business partner in the community, Goodwill currently employs 13 KRA/VIEW program participants in positions that promote self-sufficiency and enhance learning new workplace skill sets. 

“John”, a single father of two, is a successful KRA/VIEW Job Readiness Academy (JRA) graduate and SWP participant. Through the JRA, a month-long program that emphasizes pre-employment personal/professional development, John took classes in Resume Building, Interviewing Techniques, Work Ethics, Workplace Professionalism and Teamwork, as well as Budgeting and Goal Setting.  John’s JRA experience increased both his self-confidence and determination to succeed for himself and his children.  Participation in the SWP led John to a Goodwill volunteer opportunity…that led to a fulltime, warehouse-staff position that has exceeded his original expectation of minimum-wage employment. 

Ms. Porter-Lopez, Goodwill Industries Coordinator, stated “He is a hard worker. He was extremely coachable and able to obtain skills required of him to achieve an employment opportunity. This opportunity began with onsite training as a donation attendant.  After only 4 weeks, his work ethic allowed him to be handpicked for a higher waged, permanent full-time position.”