Goodwill program: Banking & Customer Service Training

“Having my independence back is great. I like not being dependent on the system. I love the feeling of self-sufficiency.”

When the economy took a turn for the worst, Susan Byrdsong was not sure how she would pull out of it.

She had lost her job as a retail manager and started looking for work.  With seven years of teaching experience along with her recent retail management job, Susan had high hopes of returning to the classroom. Unfortunately, she says, with the recession, there were no openings in the education system, including substitute teaching.

To save money while she was unemployed and looking for work, she moved in with her family.

More than a year into her unemployment, Susan was watching the news one day and saw a story about Goodwill and the employment programs available to help people like herself.

Soon thereafter, she enrolled in Goodwill’s Banking and Customer Service training program. By the time she graduated from the nine-week program, Susan was hired to work in a Charlotte contact center for a national company.
She credits her success to Goodwill.

“I enjoyed the atmosphere at Goodwill,” Susan says. “You have the opportunity to learn as much as you want. You have resources that can help and guide you to different areas of interest.”

She began using resources offered in the training program and the support of Goodwill’s instructors to help her on the job hunt. Her instructors provided information on local job fairs where she could hand out her resumé and make connections.

“What kept me going was my faith, knowing this was going to turn around,” Susan says. “I enjoyed seeing the positivity on both sides – from the staff and the participants in the program.”

Today, Susan works as a Customer and Sales Specialist II with Convergys, answering calls from all over the country for a client in the automotive assistance industry.

“What I really like about the job is the communication. We talk to several kinds of people.  We never know what calls come through,” she says.  “I am the voice of the company and my initial interaction with the client ensures a long-term relationship with Convergys.”

Goodwill not only prepared her for the customer service aspects of the job, she says, it also helped improve her computer skills, which are vital when using the company’s computer system.

At the end of the day, Susan goes home with a sense of pride knowing “I helped someone that day.”

“Having my independence back is great,” Susan adds. “I like not being dependent on the system. I love the feeling of self-sufficiency.”

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