Len Foote Hike Inn

Eric Graves has been part of the Len Foote Hike Inn (Hike Inn) for 18 years, including five years of living on site. He knows what it takes to be a successful member of the team – and good fits are hard to find. Every 100 resumes might yield two people who would be a good fit for the organization. Eric considers himself fortunate if one of those is ultimately a successful hire.

His involvement with the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce allowed Eric to learn about the job fairs held at Goodwill’s Dawsonville Career Center. He then met Lead Career Coach Tara Hardwick, who was participating in the Leadership Dawson program. Tara visited the Hike Inn and was able to learn more about the daily operation and what happens behind the scenes. This knowledge of the facility’s unique needs proved to be valuable in creating a partnership.

Tara shares, “Eric has supported our Career Center since we opened three and a half years ago. Our relationship is so strong that when I have a suitable candidate for employment with the Hike Inn, I call Eric and he usually comes to the Career Center within an hour or so to interview the job seeker. We have a great level of trust and respect for one another.”

Eric says that even if he’s not currently looking to fill positions, he still participates in Goodwill’s Job Fairs, as they allow him to network and build awareness for the Hike Inn. He finds that meeting the other recruiters has been helpful and he’s received many referrals from them.

When asked to share a success story that resulted from this collaboration, Tara and Eric are both quick to share the experience with a talented young man who appeared in the Career Center one day. He had been hiking the Appalachian Trail but was running low on funds and needed a job. Tara contacted Eric and within a few days, this job seeker became a full-time employee, living on-site with housing provided. Eric was happy. Tara was happy. But that job seeker was thrilled!!!!

Goodwill of North Georgia is pleased to recognize Len Foote Hike Inn with the 2020 Breaking Barriers award for their continued support in helping us to place job seekers in non-traditional settings.