For Immediate Release
May 1, 2012
Goodwill’s TeachME Job Training Program Graduates Second Class
Program works with refugees and immigrants on employment and job training skills
Gorham – Graduates of Goodwill’s second TeachME (Teach Employment and Career Help Maine) job training program will graduate on Thursday, May 3, at 11:30 am, armed with skills to enter the local workforce. The graduation ceremony will take place at Goodwill’s Training Center in Gorham (34 Hutcherson Drive, Gorham Industrial Park).
TeachMe is an employment program for refugees and immigrants in greater Portland that offers job training for individuals seeking employment in their new place of residence. The program offers soft skills training, such as basic computer skills, interviewing, how to fill out a job application and professionalism. TeachMe also offers a hands-on and practical training component in the retail industries. The eight participants graduating this Thursday received job-specific training in the retail industry. Students received in-store training at the Goodwill store in South Portland (555 Maine Mall Road) for six weeks, in addition to classroom learning time. Participants gained skills in customer service, merchandising and pricing, health and safety and store operations, including donations handling and operation of the POS (Point of Sale) register system.
Graduates will receive a certificate listing their skills and competencies. Goodwill Workforce Solutions works with local businesses to help the graduates find employment. Several of the graduates have already found employment with Goodwill, Hannaford, Portland Regency Hotel and Walmart.
Participants in the program were referred by the Maine Department of Labor – Bureau of Employment Services, City of Portland Refugee and Immigrant Services Office and Portland Adult Education. Participant countries of origin include Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Somalia.
Funding for the TeachME pilot program is provided by Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. (CCWI), one of Maine’s local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs). CCWI covers a six county coastal region which includes Cumberland County. “CCWI is proud to sponsor TeachME,” said Antoinette Mancusi, deputy director of CCWI. “CCWI was able to utilized incentive award funds for this important project. The individual stories of the TeachME students who have come to this country to start a new life and a new career are truly inspiring. Many of them held high positions in their country, but they need new basic job training skills to start their career path here. That’s what TeachME can offer.”
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Goodwill Industries of Northern New England provides community resources that eliminate barriers to opportunity and help people reach their fullest potential through the power of work. A social enterprise for over 100 years, Goodwill reflects economic, social and environmental sustainability, with a focus on connecting people to marketplace employment. Our services are funded by revenue from retail and recycling operations, grants, fees, and philanthropic gifts. Please visit www.goodwillnne.org for more information.
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