Oletha Fraser moved from Florida to Georgia, hoping to create a better life for herself. Though she had an associate degree in science and worked in the medical field, Oletha decided to enroll at Southern Crescent Technical College (SCTC) to pivot into a new career, a necessary move after dealing with several barriers to working – including health issues, a now-resolved criminal justice background, and being dependent on public benefits.

Oletha was determined not to allow her setbacks to stop her. After researching different career paths, she decided that a forklift career would best suit her. Fortunately, Oletha learned that SCTS partnered with Goodwill of North Georgia which would put her on a faster track to get training! She was thrilled that she qualified for SNAP Works, Georgia’s training program for those receiving SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and she enrolled.

Upon beginning Goodwill’s hands-on Forklift training program, Olteha learned a variety of tasks and skills necessary for maintaining the warehouse floor and operating the forklift. She obtained certifications in CPR/First Aid and OSHA 10. This training allowed her to not only learn the full scope of warehouse operations but also allowed her to gain hands-on forklift experience. During the training program, Oletha was always punctual and eager to learn.

After graduating from the program, Oletha worked with Goodwill staff to prepare for an internship interview with Fastenal Warehouse. She nailed her interview and was offered the internship. While interning, Oletha’s hard work and dedication were acknowledged, and Oletha was offered a full-time position before completing the training!

Oletha remained with Fastenal Warehouse for more than two years and received multiple raises. Though she enjoyed her position, she decided it was time for a better job that paid more and capitalized on the experience she had gained so far. She remembered that Goodwill helped people at all career stages, so she returned to Goodwill for support. In October 2021, Oletha was hired full-time by Americold Logistics LLC with starting pay of $15.50 per hour. Career Pathway Coach Delana Bey recently spoke with Oletha and learned that she celebrated her 1st anniversary.

“I love it here! My one-year anniversary is today, and I am so thankful for Goodwill helping me,” said Oletha. Now making $17.50 per hour, Oletha no longer receives public benefits and is enjoying her new career.