Gwinnett County resident Marva Conner was referred to Goodwill’s Pleasant Hill Career Center in March 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Her GVRA counselor believed that one of Goodwill’s training programs would enable Marva to find a new opportunity. As a senior citizen with several barriers to employment, Marva was looking to move beyond her previous factory experience. She was interested in a job where she could help people, preferably in a medical setting. 

Marva began the retail customer service training program in May 2020, performing well during job readiness training classes and her work in the store. Despite battling health issues throughout the program, Marva remained determined. By mid-June, she expressed a desire to continue working at Goodwill when she completed the program. She particularly enjoyed the role of guest ambassador. 

Marva faced housing instability while in program and was grateful for the support of the Goodwill team, who assisted in finding transitional housing options for Marva, her granddaughter, and her granddaughter’s family. Marva was also supported with uniform vouchers and transportation assistance. The Lyft vouchers were critical in helping her get to training. 

Marva benefitted from the Goodwill team’s patience and compassion as they helped her deal with anxiety and medication issues. These caring professionals remained in close contact with her as she took a 30-day break from training in late September to get her housing and health challenges resolved. 

With the help of Employment Specialist Nakya Marshall, Marva created a resume in late August, which was an important component of her job search. By mid-October she told her case manager she was employment ready.  She graduated from program on October 30th, interviewed for a position at Goodwill’s retail store on Ronald Reagan Parkway and began work there shortly thereafter. 

Her managers were thrilled with her performance, noting her outstanding work ethic and sharing that she was one of the store’s best employees.  

Having secured her own apartment and with continued job retention, Marva is looking to the future. She hopes to enroll in Goodwill’s phlebotomy training program sometime in 2022.