Both the power of partnerships and Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota’s employment training programs were celebrated on Thursday Oct. 22 at the Second Annual Employment Training & Education Barbecue.
The crowd of over 100 people included Goodwill-Easter Seals’ business partners and staff members.
They were treated to remarks from those involved in every aspect of Goodwill-Easter Seals’ training programs. Jennifer Allshouse, a recent graduate of the construction training program, provided a real-life example for why the partnerships and training programs matter: “My training was a stepping stone to a career,” she told the crowd. “I’ve gone so much farther than I ever thought I could.” Most importantly, she explained: “I’m able to take care of my daughter now.”
Spenser Shimek, Goodwill-Easter Seals’ Automotive Instructor, discussed the approach taken with the participants who come to the program. “We see them all for what they can become,” he explained. “We help people repackage their purpose and focus.”
The partners present were impressed by what they heard. John Patterson, Vice President of Fendler Patterson Construction, remarked that “It brings a little joy to you when you see what your contributions are able to do. Martin Ludden, External Affairs Manager for Comcast, concurred. ”It was great to find out more about what Goodwill-Easter Seals does.”
Kathryn Ross, Goodwill-Easter Seals’ Gifts and Grants Manager, who was the event’s organizer, agreed that the luncheon not only served to honor Goodwill-Easter Seals partners, but also to articulate the organization’s mission. “It was a tremendous event,” she said. “It made a huge difference in everyone’s understanding of what we do.”
In his remarks, Michael Wirth-Davis, President and CEO of Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota, made it clear that the success of Goodwill-Easter Seals’ training programs is a direct result of the support received from its partners. “We couldn’t have done this without our business partners,” he told the crowd. ”All of our training programs include working with partners for continual improvement.”
Becky Brink, Director of Employment Training & Education, followed his remarks by saying “Our partnerships are the key. We have to partner with employers to make sure our students and graduates have access to jobs. “
The luncheon was held at Goodwill-Easter Seals’ newly expanded Automotive and Construction Facility on Prior Avenue. Catering was provided by Divine Swine Catering – and was provided thanks to support from Fendler Patterson Construction. Many other Goodwill-Easter Seals’ partners were in attendance, including Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Oppidan, Bremer Bank, Big Blue Box, Ecolab and Donaldson Companies, as well as representatives from the city of St. Paul and the office of Senator Al Franken.