At the beginning of January 2022, Melanie Rust walked into the Goodwill Career Center in Oakwood. Her Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA) counselor, Corin Morgan, referred her for Job Readiness Training (JRT) after losing a job. Melanie was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, which had been attributed to her difficulty with maintaining employment previously.

Melanie had an intake interview with her case manager, Alex Balla, followed by a meeting with Sarah Roberts, her job coach, who would conduct job readiness classes. Right from the program’s start, Melanie was enthusiastic and made an effort to take notes during each class to help her retain the information. Her Goodwill job coach was attentive to her needs, repeating concepts when necessary and accommodating her hearing difficulties.

During her time with Goodwill, Melanie’s job coach reviewed various job readiness topics with her. They included effective communication, conflict management, interviewing skills, conducting mock interviews, résumé writing, problem-solving, decision-making, goals, motivation, and building a positive relationship with her boss.

Sarah described Melanie as “very personable, engaging, and eager to learn.” Melanie’s confidence grew with each passing class, and she began to understand the importance of these JRT classes in gaining the skills necessary to maintain employment. After discussing what careers she was interested in, Sarah recommended that Melanie explore assisted living facilities or nursing homes, where she could work with older adults and use her person-centered outlook daily.

On February 23rd, 2022, Melanie was interviewed for a Manor Lake Assisted Living facility position. After the interview, she called her friend Sarah and said it was “probably the best interview I’ve had.” Shortly after, Melanie learned she had been chosen as an Activity Coordinator Assistant at Manor Lake. She enjoys and loves her job and is grateful for it every day.

Melanie credits her job success to the excellent job readiness classes she attended. She found her job coach, Sarah, to be very helpful and informative, always willing to answer her questions. As Melanie approaches her one-year mark at her job, she proves that a little bit of job readiness training can go a long way.