Retail Training Leads to Job During Recession

Photo of Participant: Danielle

There are many recipes for success and even more books outlining the key ingredients to that success. Although opinions may vary, two ingredients remain a constant: someone believing in you and believing in yourself.

Danielle has worked in the Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota (GESMN) e-commerce department for three years. She spends her days joyfully sifting through literature in the “books and media shipping” area.

“I do tons of stuff in the books and media section,” Danielle exclaims. “Plus, I also have other responsibilities including customer service, scanning titles to be sold online and helping customers with pick-up orders. I love the variety!”

Danielle initially participated in the retail skills training program; an eight-week course for youth that provides job skills for the retail industry.

“I learned so much in the program, from retail skills, to multitasking and how to communicate with managers,” recalls Danielle. The training program is also where Danielle was connected to Allen Mavis, her case manager and employment consultant at GESMN.

After completion of the retail skills training program, Danielle enrolled in the e-commerce training program, where she refined her skills in online sales, product fulfillment and distribution. Upon completion, Danielle felt confident to hit the ground running and join the workforce. At the time she completed her training, the U.S. had just started to rebound from the recession and the job market was tight. Encouraged by Allen, Danielle applied and secured a role in books and media shipping at GESMN’s Brooklyn Park e-commerce operation.

Danielle is described by her colleagues as a positive and shining presence. She often volunteers for special duties and has made it a point to take other program participants under her wing.

“I know what it feels like to come to a new job and not know what to do,” she says. “I love leading and hopefully teaching the new people something along the way. My advice is to work hard at the job you have because the place you are interning could be the place where a manager sees potential in you for a full-time position.”

With her initial employment goals met, Danielle is working hard to be an even greater asset to the e-commerce team.

“My goal is to work hard and gain confidence in as many areas as I can to make the department better for GESMN,” she says. “I feel very lucky that I’m in this position and I enjoy going to work every day. I want to thank Allen for believing in me and GESMN for giving me the opportunity to prove myself and get a job.”