• 2017 Brookside Lane Kingsport, TN 37660
  • Phone: 423-245-0600

Success Stories

Meet a few of the people Goodwill has helped.

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Ashley

If you’ve visited the Holston Valley Hospital in Kingsport, you’ve probably seen Ashley Patterson. She’s on the go-to crew for keeping the hospital environment clean and sterilized.

Patterson started with Goodwill in 2004. She enrolled in the Organizational Employment Program, which provides employment to individuals for whom competitive employment is not feasible due to a barrier such as age, severity of disability or lack of work experience. While in the program, Patterson spent time prepping and learning about her new work skills, such as dusting, cleaning, mopping, and sweeping.

“Being in the Goodwill program really helped me learn new job skills,” said Patterson.” I got a job in the hospital. It’s a fun place to work and I’ve made a lot of friends. I am proud of what I do and I’m happy to be at work and to participate in other work activities, such as the spring picnic.”

She is the one who keeps the bathrooms, ER Lobby, admitting waiting area, and hallways spotless and trash free! Patterson monitors the lobbies, Starbucks, Subway, and museum area for trash and spills. She’s also the one refilling the antibacterial hand sanitizer stations to help keep everyone germ free!

Going through the Goodwill program and learning these new skills has helped Patterson grow as a person, too.

“Having a job has got me out of the house and active,” said Patterson. “And I’ve gained independence, I earn a paycheck, I got my driver’s license and definitely a lot more confidence,” she said with a smile.

Erin Starnes, Director of Workforce Development, worked with Ashley when she first started at Goodwill and now periodically checks up on her and makes sure she’s still completing her job to the best of her ability.

“Ashley has been with Goodwill for over 10 years now,” said Starnes. “She’s went from underestimating her abilities and capabilities to now being a very reliable, hardworking individual. We’re very proud of her and look forward to her future accomplishments!”

Patterson says you should always be yourself. So if you see Ashley working (and smiling!) in the hospital on your next visit, stop by and say hello!

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Customer Service Class

In February of this year, Goodwill Industries of Tenneva launched a new training program at The Day Reporting Center. The program, titled ‘Customer Service and Retail Training,’ requires 45 hours of training and a final exam at the end. Through all the quizzes, activities, note-taking and test preparation, the four participants enrolled in the class passed their final exam and earned their certificate!

Throughout the 45 hours of training, the individuals learned about all aspects of customer service including how to greet shoppers, provide great assistance with products and even help deter theft. Participants role-played different retail, customer service and store operation scenarios to understand appropriate actions to take. Group discussion and games related to topics were helpful in studying for pop quizzes and the final exam.

“This class provides individuals with a certificate that makes them more marketable to employers,” said Stacy Haas, Goodwill Employment Services Program Manager.

Haas teaches the class and knows the course increased her participants’ confidence, knowledge of customer service and how retail stores operate. She believes the certificate will help the graduates improve their current job or provide them with an advantage in the current job market.

“This class is full of ‘behind the scenes’ knowledge,” stated one participant. “It helped to teach us valuable, in-depth information we never knew about retail stores.”

One participant stated that the class has improved her current job and has helped her to stand out among other employees for her great customer service skills.

Haas made sure the participants were as prepared as they could be and on June 25, the clients all passed their final exams! Congrats to the graduates!

The individuals in the class put their time in and dedicated themselves to completing this program. They even have their own mantra – “Customer Service is not a department – it is an attitude!”

Jessi

Jessi

Jessi came to Goodwill with no previous work experience. She was referred for Work Adjustment and Supported Employment services by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services.

Jessi’s Program Manager met with Jessi to identify her interests and skills. In high school Jessi was involved in culinary and indicated that she would like to do something with Food Service. The Program Manager then contacted community employers for training and/or employment opportunities based on their discussions.

Jessi’s Work Adjustment took place at a local grocery store in her community. She trained in bagging, putting away stray stock, and preparing food in the deli. The Program Manager worked with her at the job site to ensure she understood the duties she has been assigned. As Jessi learned each task, the Program Manager remained at the site but only offered assistance when needed or asked allowing Jessi her independence.

At the end of her Work Adjustment, Jessi completed an application for the grocery store. Jessi was hired part-time as a Courtesy Clerk. Jessi’s Program Manager continues to provide support to Jessi and the employer as needed and conducts monthly visits, more if needed or requested. Jessi has been working at the Food City in Lebanon, VA since January, 2014.

KizzyBryant

Kizzy

“Oh my biscuits!”

If you’re walking into the processing area in the corporate headquarters building and this phrase is heard, Kizzy Bryant is already having an enthusiastic, productive morning.

Bryant came to Goodwill three years ago. She was referred to Goodwill Industries of Tenneva for the Work Adjustment program through the Tennessee vocational rehabilitation in Kingsport. Work Adjustment is a program funded through the Goodwill retail stores and vocational rehabilitation. It helps individuals find their job skill set to be a contributing member of the workforce.

Work Adjustment is one of the most popular programs at Goodwill. The individuals in the program will try various job tasks within the company to identify their employment interests. Bryant went to visit three job sites before coming to Goodwill: a fast food establishment, a factory, and a children’s daycare. When she enrolled in the Work Adjustment program, she tried a job at the Goodwill processing center hanging clothes and then worked in the new goods processing division, pricing and organizing items to be sent to the retail stores.

She excelled in the Goodwill new goods processing division and was eventually hired by Goodwill Industries of Tenneva. She was very thankful for the opportunity and the emotional uplifting she received when she secured a job.

“It’s hard being a single parent. Work doesn’t always bend around your kids, but my kids come first,” Bryant said. “Getting the job at Goodwill helped me to not only get out of the house, but also take care of my kids.”

Goodwill was able to create Bryant a work schedule that met the needs of their retail stores and allowed her the ability to manage her families’ needs.

“I’ve finally got a sense of self-worth and feel like I’m bettering myself every day!”

JayClark

Jay

During the fall race rallying in Bristol, you can find Jay Clark volunteering his time at the Family Race Night at the Food City tent. Clark is currently enrolled in the Supported Employment program with Goodwill Industries of Tenneva.

Clark was referred to Goodwill from the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitation Services. The Supported Employment program allows individuals to receive job readiness training and job coaching, which involves on-site training, and follow up services.

He has worked for a year as a courtesy clerk for the Food City in Damascus, Virginia. He was hired at Food City after Goodwill Program Manager, Robin Haga, was able to help him learn how to do the clerk responsibilities and continues to follow up with him to help him learn new job skills.

“I would recommend Goodwill services because they have helped me a lot,” said Clark. “The job coaching and continued visits help me learn how to continue to do my job.”

Goodwill helped Clark find his job and successfully keep the job at Food City. He loves his job but especially enjoys volunteering at the Food City tent, handling out samples to visitors.

“Jay has been a delight to work with,” stated Haga. “It has been exciting to watch him grow to become an active member of the Food City team.”

Clark will continue to learn new job skills and pursue his career at Food City. If you see him at the Food City tent, make sure you get a sample of the food he’s passing out!

AndyLiu

Andy

When an individual is court-ordered to attend the Day Reporting Center programs in Johnson City, Tenn., the outcomes all involved hope for is a positive one. On October 2, 2014, employment training program participant Andy Liu was the first graduate of the Day Reporting Center.

The Day Reporting Center, a place where individuals with a criminal record can build on their education, sobriety, coping skills and enhance their job opportunities, is where Liu learned the tools he needed to make his day-to-day more positive. He was taught how to interview for job opportunities better and to be more confident when speaking to employers.

“I view my current job differently, but in a more positive way,” stated Liu. “It is very important for me to be responsible and keep my family together.”

Liu has been working at the Johnson City Mall since August of 2013. He tries to put himself in his customers’ shoes so he can consistently gain experience in communicating with people. In Liu’s eyes, the more experience you have, the better you are to keep learning and moving forward.

“There are winners,” said Liu. “And there are losers, but the losers are people who just haven’t discovered how to win yet. I am now discovering how to win.”

After graduating from the DRC, Liu will keep his current job, but he’s been talking about enrolling in college classes. Whatever it is Liu decides to do, he’s gaining all the experience he can to help him make the best decisions and make those decisions with confidence!

Our Staff

President & CEO
Morris Baker

Director of Human Resources
Anita Williams

Director of Finance
Audrea Nelson

Director of Workforce Development
Erin Starnes

Director of Facilities
Derek Ward

Processing Center Manager
Adrianne Lane

Regional Manager
Lori Moore

Regional Manager
Brittany Bostic

Transportation & Salvage Manager
Mike Poore

Administrative Assistant
Diane Peters

Staff Accountant
Carol Jennings

Administrative Office Assistant
Melinda Bragg

Receptionist
Donna Lankford

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) Program Coordinator
Elizabeth Barringer

Employment Program Manager
Kayla Tester

Employment Program Manager
Robin Haga

Employment Program Manager
Jackie Kinder