For many job hunters with a criminal background, getting a second chance isn’t easy. After Jason served several prison sentences, he learned that Goodwill was a resource available to help those with barriers to employment and work.
Jason came to Goodwill’s Career Development Center and was immediately welcomed by a team of people ready and willing to help him get back on his feet. He enrolled in the Second Chance Workshop, a program designed to help individuals with criminal backgrounds re-integrate into the workforce. Jason chose the Second Chance Workshop because he needed help transitioning back into daily civilian life. “It’s hard to adapt after getting out of prison. That was my problem, adapting,” he said.
While at Goodwill, Jason learned communication skills, interviewing skills, how to write an appealing resume, how to dress professionally, and much more, all while being surrounded by a strong support group. Jason said of the workshop, “The little things you learn are key.” Jason had some work experience before prison and from jobs he worked between sentences, but he needed help polishing his skills and learning how to communicate those skills in a way that was appealing to employers. The Second Chance Workshop did just that.
After completing the Second Chance Workshop, Jason was hired to work at Oneliance, a building and property maintenance company located in Charlotte. Jason used the skills he developed in Goodwill’s workshop to speak and interview well with the Oneliance owners.
Jason’s goal in his civilian life was to own his own business. After several promotions as an employee for Oneliance, Jason asked the owners if he could work with them as an independent contractor instead of as an employee. The owners, knowing what great work Jason had already done for them, agreed. Today, Jason owns his own business as an independent contractor specializing in recruiting skilled labor, and Oneliance is one of his clients.
Jason’s advice to anyone needing help getting back on their feet is to go to Goodwill. “Utilize the tools that they give you. And try to make it work, because it does work. A lot of people fail because they won’t try,” he said.
Jason’s hard work and determination, along with the help of Goodwill, have opened up an entire future of possibility for him. “Five years from now, moving forward with a purpose, there’s no telling what I will be doing,” he said. “The sky is the limit.”