After Lisa was laid off from her part-time job in 2011, she began searching for new employment opportunities. With assistance from Tri-Generations, LLC, an organization that provides a variety of housing, employment, and personal support services for Kentuckians with developmental disabilities, Lisa was offered a position at Goodwill’s store in Columbia.
For three years, Lisa’s tasks consisted primarily of janitorial duties such as cleaning windows, display cases, and floors.
“On days that Lisa was working, I could eat off the floors,” explained Joshua Jones, regional manager for Goodwill. “I believe in placing the right people in the right positions, and Lisa was exceptional at her job. I told her I was very proud of her work, but I believed she could master new skills that would make her even more successful.”
Recently, Lisa learned to sort and hang clothing, organize housewares, and work as a donation attendant to accept donations and offer receipts to donors. Of all her new duties, hanging clothes has become her favorite.
“Lisa is normally scheduled to work two-hour shifts, and she recently exceeded her goal of hanging 500 items per shift,” Joshua boasted. “She knows the items she hangs generate funds to support Goodwill’s mission, and she feels important knowing that her work is meaningful.”
Her supervisors noticed a change in Lisa as she improved her skill set—she became happier and even more motivated. She is more competitive with herself at work and takes pride in being a role model for others.
“Customers and employees love her. She is always smiling. Even when she is stressed or doesn’t feel well, she never shows it,” said Cheryl Wall, manager of the Columbia Goodwill store.
Because Lisa has diabetes, she values the flexibility in her job to take more frequent breaks for sitting and resting. While she also appreciates the work-life balance Goodwill provides, perhaps the most important thing to Lisa is the feeling of being part of a team.
“If I ever took a trip, I would take all of my co-workers with me,” she said. “They are one more reason I love my job here at Goodwill.”