Lewie Set Himself Up for Success
Guided by the recommendation of his vocational rehabilitation counselor, Lewie joined Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota’s (GESMN) 7-week Retail Skills Training program to gain work experience and skills before graduating from high school.
Lewie learned lessons on communication, customer service, time management and problem-solving. The program's emphasis on taking initiative and thinking critically proved to be an asset for Lewie, laying a strong foundation for his future employment endeavors.
An important part of the program is employment readiness training, which equips participants with the skills to perform tasks independently. Under the guidance of his career navigator and classroom instructors, Lewie worked on resume building, job applications and mock interviews. Lewie said “attention to detail” was the most important skill he learned.
In receiving training at a local community partner grocery store, Lewie discovered one of his favorite tasks was finding misplaced items in the store and returning them to their correct locations. He enjoyed the routine of straightening and organizing items. This hands-on experience taught him day-to-day skills and a sense of accomplishment.
Dan, his trainer and case manager, said he is proud of Lewie's progress over the course of the program, highlighting the importance of honing skills in customer service and communication which are universal and valuable in various job settings. The program helped to instill confidence in Lewie, Dan said.
At the end of his training, Lewie received a Certificate of Recognition for making notable progress. As Lewie nears high school graduation, his future plans are still taking shape. Lewie urges future program participants “not to be overwhelmed and to take it one day at a time.”
To learn more about our retail skills training and other employment services, visit gesmn.org/learn or text JOBS to 71492.