Goodwill And TISD Team Up For Student Jobs

Goodwill Industries of East Texas and Tyler ISD are teaming up to help a few students prepare for the employment world.
Sixty special needs students from John Tyler and Robert E. Lee High Schools will begin vocational training as part of the partnership.
At Robert E. Lee High School, the students in Mrs. Eichman's class are not just learning from the pages of a text book. They are learning important lessons on how to make it in the work force.
"It's going to bridge that gap between high school and when they graduate," said Eichman, "and they transition out into the community and the high school is no longer involved in their support."
The special needs students learn how to roll silverware, fold laundry and how to fill out applications. A partnership between Goodwill and TISD will let the students put those lessons to use.
Goodwill officials said the partnership will give the students more opportunities after graduation.
"It's important to get these kids started in the right direction," said Goodwill Director of Consumer Services, Rick Hyatt. "When they step out of these programs or out of the schools, and go out into the community, they do not always have a place to go."
Currently, students volunteer at local businesses as part of vocational training, working with the elderly and learning office work.
"I'm excited about getting a job," said student Felicia Ogletree. "I'm thinking about getting two jobs after I get out of school and stuff."
Goodwill will test the students and then place them into the job that will fit their skills best. Something their high school teacher said will give them the confidence and independence needed on the job line.
Goodwill begins the job placement testing for students next week. The students will then receive one-on-one training for inventory, office and janitorial positions.

Maya Golden reporting,