Aisia Bell, a 36-yr-old Black/Hispanic woman with multiple disabilities, came to Goodwill NYNJ in fall 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, to get a vocational evaluation to determine her interests and strengths. The single mother of three, who lives in the NJ Hudson County, had limited work experience and concerns about child-care expenses. She had last worked as a maintenance worker for the Bayonne Housing Authority in 2004. Aisia’s health conditions include epilepsy, Post-Traumatic Syndrome Disorder, Scoliosis, and bipolar disorder.
Aisia needed help updating her resume, money management, and job training. Through our Community Based Work Evaluation Services, she was able to do job sampling at three different work locations. She was concerned that the gap in her work history would raise concerns with employers, but our program allowed her to show her employability. Aisia was determined. It took her only two days to impress the owner of Garfield Furniture Center, a small business in Jersey City, NJ. She was hired at the end of 2020 to work part-time earning $13/hr. The employer understands that as a mother, Aisia needs flexible hours, so they schedule her to work at least 20 hrs./week.
“Aisia has gained much confidence as an employee since we first met her,” says Hiraysa Reynoso, Goodwill NYNJ Vocational Evaluator. “Garfield continues to collaborate with us as a location where we do vocational evaluations and Aisia is one of the employees who helps our new program participants. She knows how stressful the jobs search can be and she is paying it forward!”
In New Jersey, Goodwill Industries of Greater NY & Northern NJ (Goodwill NYNJ) provides vocational services to people with disabilities, US veterans, and other individuals who are unemployed or underemployed in the ten most Northern Counties of NJ.
We assist 14-24 year-old students and youth with disabilities to develop vocational paths and to prepare for life after they graduate from high school.
We provide work assessments and vocational testing for those who are unclear of their vocational path, potential, or have been unemployed or looking to re-enter the workforce. Our services include all aspects of employment from interviewing, application assistance, resume preparation, to connecting to employers. We also provide on-the-job and off-the-job support services to ensure people are able to maintain their job.
Our New Jersey facility is located in downtown Newark. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Story submitted by: Hiraysa Reynoso, Vocational Evaluator