PESHTIGO—Several Peshtigo High School students recently met with Goodwill Industries Regional Manager of Programming Peggy Berth and Case Manager Ben Brown about employment opportunities through Goodwill in Marinette.
“We aim to teach students the good habits a successful employee must develop in order to succeed and advance in different workplace environments,” said high school teacher Scot Skarda. He explained that many young people are often filled with anxiety when looking for their first job.
“Finding the job, interviewing, and actual employment can be very overwhelming, Skarda said.
Students can be offered job opportunities with experiences in many different workplace settings.
“People often think of the retail Goodwill Store with the donations and great items for sale there,” Skarda said. “Goodwill also has the Goodwill factory which provides manufacturing and packaging job opportunities. They team up with local businesses in an industrial setting which will match many of the workplace opportunities for our students in this area.”
“We first focus on the job basics like attitude, attendance, as well as being responsible for quality and assembling raw material into completed products in our training program called Goodwill U.” Berth continues that it is important to “guide the participants through a self-discovery process to better understand their skills. This helps to overcome challenges or barriers to employment that they might have.”
So what do the students have to say about being hired for their first job?
“I’m excited! This is going to be a good new experience,” said student Brandi Kriescher.
One student, Jon Brandon-Davis, said, “I feel kinda sad and kinda happy. I feel like I’ve grown up, and not sure if I like it or not.”
Each of the students that were hired plan to save some of their money.
“I’m going to save up for the best Halloween costume ever,” said student Areanna Rogers.
Makayla Castor plans to save for “something big,” but is not sure yet.
Jon Brandon-Davis is hoping to earn enough money to buy a gaming computer.
The Goodwill International Training Program teaches “soft skills to support independent, full lives while increasing confidence in the work setting”, according to Berth.
Goodwill has a mission “to change lives through the power of work. Building work programs in area schools for all students with or without disabilities is making a difference in our communities.”
Skarda is very excited about the long-term benefits of this collaboration.
“The Peshtigo School District is excited to have the opportunity to participate in this program,” he said. “We are proud that our students are able to work, earn money, and earn the dignity that comes with gainful employment.”
If anyone would like more information or needs help getting a job, they can contact Berth of Goodwill Industries at 715-923-5590.