Goodwill has celebrated the power of work since it formed in Boston back in 1919. The nonprofit’s founder Rev. Edgar J. Helms had a simple idea — fight poverty not with charity, but with trade skills — and provide a chance for the poor and the unemployed to do productive work.

Much has changed over 100-plus years, but Goodwill’s mission remains in line with the original philosophy. Today there are more than 4,000 Goodwill locations in the U.S., including 16 stores within Goodwill Central Coast, serving Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo counties.

Each day GCC works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work.

Barriers such as homelessness, military service, single parenting, incarceration, addiction, and job displacement can often define a person’s identity, even when they have so much more to offer.

GCC’s goal is to ensure that everyone realizes their worth and gains the skills and confidence to land a job that could turn their life around. Each year GCC assists job seekers get back to work and reclaim financial and personal independence, providing a positive learning environment that creates brighter futures through connecting people to meaningful work.

GCC funnels its efforts into what it calls Mission Services, helping to open doors to meaningful careers that change the course of lives for countless families. These services include the following:

Career Center Services

GCC assists job seekers in obtaining the education and training needed to reach their employment goals. GCC’s Career Centers offer many complimentary services, including; resume services, job search assistance, job placement, mock interviews, assistance with online applications and free computer usage. GCC employs a Career Center Coordinator available at locations in Salinas, Capitola and Watsonville.

GCC offers a variety of work experience programs through various community partners in all three counties, also providing opportunities for community service and volunteer work.

Opportunity Platform

Participants in this program can begin a journey toward financial security by working with a team of Goodwill Resource Specialists who provide one-on-one financial coaching to help people achieve their personal goals. These specialists help participants pursue their long-term financial dreams, gain job security, increase income, and become debt free in a structured and compassionate way.

GCC also helps connect participants with other trustworthy organizations and services in its Active Referral Network. Membership is free and counseling is confidential.

Digital Literacy

The Digital Literacy program provides a specialized curriculum to assist participants with navigating an increasingly technological world. Available in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, the program offers participants free classes to help educate them on various commonplace programs and applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Digital skills are not just important for individual employees, but also for the overall success of an organization. The ability to leverage digital technologies to communicate, collaborate, and analyze data can significantly enhance productivity and competitiveness in a modern workplace.

Other Mission Services

GCC offers a variety of programs that can support job training goals, including obtaining a variety of certificates and/or obtaining a secondary education degree.
In all three counties, GCC provides Department of Rehabilitation Employment Services designed to assist those seeking employment to learn about employment opportunities within the community and to make an informed decision. Services are individualized to assist a person in choosing employment outcomes and or career development opportunities based on the person’s preferences, strengths, abilities and needs.

In SLO County, GCC’s Short-Term Supports program provides clients in subsidized employment direct on-the-job support to help them learn the necessary skills, standards, and processes required by their employer. GCC also provides DOR Situational Assessments to help provide information to a DOR consumer about his or her strengths and barriers to employment, and provide information to choose an employment goal based on preferences, strengths, abilities, and needs.

What’s more, GCC provides paid work experience programs to DOR consumers, working at Goodwill where they build the soft skills and work experience needed to succeed in any job or occupation.

To deliver its services, GCC relies on partnerships with federal and state workforce development agencies, as well as strong relationships with the local businesses that provide employment opportunities. Local community members also play an important role by donating ready-to-sell items for GCC stores and by choosing to shop at one of its 16 stores.

What’s more, GCC employs more than 600 people throughout three counties, including employment training professionals, sales personnel, donation center attendants, warehouse and distribution workers, and administrators.

Believing that everyone deserves the chance to work, Goodwill Central Coast is an equal opportunity employer and an advocate for the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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