Valdosta Daily Times

October 26, 2012

Goodwill opens new vocational training facility

Quinten Plummer
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — While Valdosta’s Goodwill facility has featured a career center since 2006, Goodwill Industries' Southern Regions (GWISR) district unveiled a complement to The Career Center at the Valdosta site when it opened its training center Thursday afternoon.

The Training Center awards Valdosta another solution for citizens with disabilities, according to Senior Vice President Kim Cantrell of Mission Services at GWISR. She said The Training Center will partner with educators from technical colleges and universities to train participants in retail, custodial and call center skills.

“We bring the educators into our training center in a partnership format and they actually teach the classes,” said Cantrell. “When a participant completes the class, they'll receive a certification from the associated school. It's how it's done in Columbus. It's how it's done in Albany. Now, it’s how it’s done in Valdosta.”

The Training Center’s classes will Monday through Friday each week, according to Cantrell. She said The Training Center’s goal to teach good work ethic, introduce participants to adhering to a constant work routine and train better employees.

“We want to increase the stamina of participants as far as their ability to stay on task and at work,” said Cantrell. “Many of us may take that for granted that once we get a job, we'll just work. We're also teaching time, money and anger management skills. Our goal is to help create a better employee. So when they go to work, the chances of maintaining that work is better.”

The addition of The Training Center to Goodwill retail location, that already includes a Career Center, enables Goodwill to do what they do best, said Cantrell. She said the Valdosta location’s three components will compliment each other well and empower the location to maximize the quality and effectiveness of services rendered.

“We are fortunate to be paired with a retail store at this location,” said Cantrell.

“When is time to go for an interview, one of the great things that we can do at a full-service location is talk about what's appropriate for an interview. For example, we can go out onto the floor and say: 'This skirt is inappropriate and this one is acceptable. So it's real life examples that we can show people.”

Though the training center is open, it’s not quite complete. Cantrell said the organization hopes to reach a capacity of 20 students, but she also said that the center has been serving 16 people since its unofficially opening back in mid-September.

“The reason that we're able to bring these services to your community is faithful donors,” said Cantrell. “Thank you to the community for giving to Goodwill and allowing us to expand in Valdosta.”

For more on Goodwill Southern Rivers’ Valdosta Career and Training Center, visit the organization online at gwisr.org or call 229-253-0763. You may also visit the facility at 1000 North Saint Augustine Road,

Valdosta, Georgia.