Sally Ockenfels is an excellent example of how Goodwill transforms individuals with barriers into shining stars.
In September 2007, Ockenfels, who is developmentally disabled, enrolled in Goodwill of Central Arizona’s Computer and Customer Service Training (CCST) class to advance her skills and improve her chances of finding meaningful employment.
The CCST program prepares students for employment in clerical, financial services or customer service fields. The fast-paced curriculum consists of 120 classroom hours on the topics of computer basics, customer service, telephone service, financial services and human relations. Students also learn how to use the Internet and the basics of Microsoft Office products. Ultimately, the CCST class allows students to obtain higher paying jobs with benefits, thus providing the graduates the opportunity to financially support themselves and their families – which equals a foundation of self-sufficiency.
“I liked the class,” stated Ockenfels. “I learned to how use computers and email people.”
CCST instructor Louann D’Elosua said Ockenfels did not pass the class but she was awarded a Certificate of Achievement for her hard work and dedication. D’Elosua said that Ockenfels continued to work with Goodwill Workforce Development staff members over the following year and they determined that she had trouble working under authority and working with others. According to D’Elosua, Ockenfels realized that her attitude was hampering her ability to retain employment. Goodwill helped her to work through those issues with additional training and coaching while continuing her search for jobs.
Ockenfels’ relationship with Goodwill finally paid off in November 2008 when she was hired as a Courtesy Clerk at Fry’s Food Stores. Her job duties include packing groceries, collecting carts and providing solid customer service.
“I really like working for Fry’s,” Ockenfels exclaimed. “I have nice bosses and co-workers. Most of all, I feel better knowing that I can help people.”
Ockenfels recently received a “Star Award” during a secret shopper exercise conducted by her employers.
“The Star Award made me feel good,” said Ockenfels. “It was a surprise how it happened.”
Ockenfels recommends Goodwill to anyone who needs help with skills training or finding a job.
“Goodwill has really helped me out over years and I’m thankful for that.”