Goodwill’s C3: combining college and career for long-term success
With a goal of assisting 50,000 individuals this year, and placing 24,000 in jobs, Goodwill of North Georgia has all hands on deck to help people find new or better employment.
One of the many ways they are getting the job done? C3: College Career Catalyst.
Individuals enrolled in C3 enroll in a college or credential program while working with Goodwill to receive additional support and placement help. Working with Goodwill, they participate in skills and professional development trainings while also attending post-secondary courses. Ashia Walker, one of C3’s Navigators (who help applicants with the program and college), said the work they do with the students is all-encompassing, ensuring success.
“Our job is to help any of our participants who are enrolled in programs with post-secondary education,” Walker said. “That includes helping them figure out where they want to go to school, what they want to study, and helping them get their applications done.” Once they get into school, the assistance continues through the first semester, making sure they can navigate the campus and their classes. From there, after completing their educational program, Goodwill helps them get a job.
“It’s helping people not just find a job, but helping them find post-secondary education or credentials to help them further their career,” Walker said. This includes assistance for those looking to earn more money, get a promotion, or take on a leadership role.
Ideal candidates for the program are those who have gone through a training at Goodwill, or who are referred from one of the many Goodwill partner organizations. Those working with the C3 program often don’t have any family members who have gone through the college process, and need that extra help.
“They don’t even know where to start,” Walker said. “I’ve had students who actually paid for their FAFSA to be completed, not knowing it was a free application.”
Walker has worked with Goodwill for six years, and has encountered a lot of success stories during her time, including a young man who is now enrolled at Chattahoochee Technical College, with hopes of eventually transferring to Kennesaw State University to study marine biology.
Walker calls his parents once a month to check in on the student and his progress. “That makes me happy every month that he’s still in school,” she said. “It’s important to know that somebody cared and that he wasn’t just a number, and somebody is proud of him.”
The C3 program partners with a variety of local technical college partners, including Athens Technical College, Gwinnett Technical College, and North Georgia Technical College.
With 13 career centers and five dedicated navigators, those interested in working with the C3 program can essentially visit any location to be matched with assistance. For additional information, please visit Goodwill CollegeCareerCatalyst.