We study the impact of the Career Services training program offered by Goodwill of North Georgia, a nonprofit leader in providing job seekers with career services and job training through the Atlanta metropolitan region and beyond. Goodwill provides intensive job preparation and training services to help individuals find employment in one of a number of occupations or industries—for example, welding, construction, medical billing and coding, technology, maintenance, CDL, forklift operations, and supply chain. Trainees participate in short, 4–16 week training programs that end with the attainment of an industry-recognized certification. During this training period, participants are connected with paid work-based learning opportunities and are supported by a career coach that helps them overcome employment barriers and focus not just on getting a job, but on identifying their career pathway. While many participants are funded through Goodwill’s own missing funding, Goodwill trains many individuals who receive funding through prominent federal funding sources—e.g., WIOA and SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP Works).
Program services include basic job preparation and career services, certification programs operated by partner organizations and colleges, as well as light case management. These services are meant to develop clients’ job-finding and job-holding skills as well as their vocation-specific skills, preparing them to gain and maintain employment. Goodwill’s training philosophy focuses on the “Career Pathways ABCs,” helping clients find A first job, a Better job, and a Career. Before, during, and after training career coaches continue to work with clients to eliminate employment barriers, navigate skill acquisition, find employment in an entry-level job, and work toward growing in their career.