In June 2021, Elida Cortes was referred to Goodwill’s Decatur Career Center by her Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA) counselor. At 32-years-old, Elida had never worked before and was eager to find a job.

Elida is visually impaired and arrived at Goodwill with a trainer from Vision Rehabilitation Services (VRS), a Smyrna-based nonprofit dedicated to assisting its clients achieve independence. Goodwill Job Coach Debra Young stepped in and crafted a job training and placement plan.

Elida shared with Debra that she wanted to work with computers, although she lacked any background in that area. Debra investigated several options and determined that a retail position with Goodwill was likely a better fit at the time.

Although Elida was initally unenthusiastic about retail work, with the help of Debra and the VRS trainer, Elida began scanning books and was experiencing great success with this task. Debra next partnered Elida with a coworker so that she could learn other duties. One area where Elida truly excels is hanging clothing – she works fast and has high productivity.

Elida recently celebrated one year with Goodwill and is earning $10.75 per hour. She uses MARTA mobility to get to work and is enjoying her newfound independence and income. Elida remains interested in computers and is still working with Debra to determine the next steps on her career path.