Skills training falls into two broad categories: 1) training for general employment readiness including various computer and office technology classes and 2) training that results in a recognized credential such as a CDL (commercial driver’s license), Facility Maintenance Technician or Certified Nursing Assistant. The ability to stack credentials is a value-add for participants. In Skilled Trades and Healthcare, individuals can earn an introductory credential and while working, continue to add on or “stack” additional credentials that will allow them to advance in their field. In Healthcare, individuals can get certified as a Nursing Assistant I (CNA), CNA II, then add Phlebotomy. In Skilled Trades, welding credentials are stackable and include various types of welding such as ARC, Industrial, MIG, Pipe and TIG.
In the past five years 20,490 individuals completed skills training through Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina. How does that break down to impacting our participants’ employment and opportunities? Let’s take a look:
- Approximately 3,074 individuals were employed in their skills training field and took skills training as a requirement of their job, such as taking Medical Coding and Terminology.
- Another 8,196 were underemployed individuals who took skills training in order to advance in their field or to get a different job in their field of choice.
- Around 9,200 individuals were unemployed and took skills training as a means to obtain employment. Of these, 2,340 individuals found jobs in their skills training field within 3 months of training completion, 2,680 individuals obtained jobs in their skills training field within 6 months, and an additional 3,200 individuals obtained employment for which their skills training made them more employable. In the past three years, the number of skills training completions has grown, averaging around 5,200 per year. The percentages of “types” of participants have remained consistent; roughly 45 percent unemployed individuals seeking training to obtain employment; about 40 percent being employed and seeking to gain or improve skills to advance in or get a job in their field of choice; and about 15 percent taking skills training as a requirement of their job.
Skills training is important to participants, employers, funders and the community as a whole. As we continue to move into a global economy, in order for our communities to remain strong we need a well-developed, well-trained workforce that meets evolving needs. Through skills training geared to meet these needs, participants are able to find sustainable wage jobs with a future; employers are able to hire employees with the specific skills they need; funders realize a great return on investment and the community is better able to support the vocational needs of employers looking for a home.
Skills Training: Success Stories
Albert came to Goodwill after prison, working odd jobs and trying unsuccessfully for three years to find sustainable employment. Goodwill scholarships allowed him to take ARC and MIG welding. After successfully completing the classes, Albert worked with Goodwill staff to update his resume, practice his interviewing skills, and start a job search. Albert was hired by R. H. Wagner in Rural Hall as a welder, where he is still employed.
Jessica came to Goodwill looking for a job that would support her and her son at a level where she could get permanent housing and transportation. She took the Customer Service Call Center Class where she was given the opportunity to meet with several potential employers. She interviewed before finishing the class and the morning of graduation accepted a position as a Level I Customer Service Representative with Computer Credit, Inc. where she has since been promoted to a Level 2 Representative, has found permanent housing and purchased a car.
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