There’s an undeniable earnestness and energy to Faith Jones. You can sense it in her every movement, whether she’s greeting a colleague with a smile or pricing products at Goodwill of North Georgia’s Cornelia store. Jones is a store associate there, primarily stationed in the linen department where she sorts and prices donated items. “I absolutely love it,” Jones says of her job. She cites the position’s organized structure and low-stress environment as the reasons the job is right for her. Finding the right job for Jones didn’t happen instantly. She originally worked at a fast food chain, where the pace was hectic, and the demands were stressful.
“I have anxiety, and working fast food was overwhelming,” says Jones. Referred to Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA) by her uncle, Jones connected with a VR counselor who encouraged her to check out Goodwill’s Workforce Development program in Cornelia. In the program Jones underwent work evaluation in the competitive work environment of the adjacent Goodwill store and donation center. “When I was a participant I was a runner,” she says. Learning about the store’s different processes and departments intrigued Jones. She worked hard and took in as much information as she could. When her program training neared its end, a store manager approached Jones about joining the team full-time. “I was so excited,” she beams. Jones accepted the job offer and applied her knowledge from running product during her training to linen processing as an employee.
December is Jones’s six-month milestone as a store associate. Still loving the job, she is grateful to work in a place that doesn’t heighten her anxiety. A factor she says was key to her success was support from her Goodwill case managers, job coaches and VR counselors. “I had very sweet and nice counselors,” she says. “They couldn’t have found a more perfect fit for me for a job.”