Tucson Community Program Presented with Workplace Award For Employment Training and Job Placement

Goodwill Industries International
Thursday, 19 June 2003

Tucson has a growing teleservice job base with over 40 call centers and an estimated 16,000 workers. Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona (Tucson) realized that many people in the area did not have the entry-level skills needed for successful employment in the industry. In 1996, Goodwill began the Ready-to-Earn Teleservice Training program after meeting with representatives from several area teleservice employers to discuss their training needs.

The 120-hour training program provides keyboarding skills, basic computer training and telephone etiquette. Students also receive necessary life skills training to effectively manage work and family responsibilities. Today, 73 percent of those who start the program finish it, and 100 percent of program completers are placed in industry jobs within 60 days of graduation.

Tucson Goodwill maintains a 25-member Teleservice Business Advisory Council (BAC) made up of hiring representatives and call center managers from area teleservice companies. The group meets quarterly to discuss changes in training needs. The BAC has also helped grow Tucson Goodwill's employer base, which now includes Dunn and Bradstreet, Greyhound Lines and America Online.

Tucson's program has benefited from the support of the entire community. In January 2002, seven different sources including community development grants, Rotary and other business clubs, national foundations and private donors, funded an updated training classroom. Currently, the program is supported through six different sources including the City of Tucson-Office of Economic Development and Pima County.

Ready-to-Earn Teleservice Training program has been awarded Goodwill's Workplace Skills Award for providing exemplary services to people with disabilities and others with barriers to employment. "Goodwill job programs are designed not only to train, but to yield positive, lasting employment outcomes for the people we serve," says George W. Kessinger, President and CEO Goodwill Industries International, Inc. "These proven programs are beneficial two-fold. They exist for the people of their local communities and are often replicated in other U.S. and international Goodwill organizations."

For more information, or to contact Goodwill Industries International, see their website at: www.goodwill.org

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