Program participant’s 20 years of success celebrated
The team at Oshkosh Retail Store and Training Center recently celebrated Andy Yohn’s 20th anniversary with Goodwill with cake and pizza. And while all anniversaries are special, this one is especially meaningful.
Before joining the store, Andy worked at the Appleton Shiner Center in Goodwill’s Contractivity! program, which gives people with barriers to employment job-training opportunities. He worked there for 19 years, until his father unexpectedly passed away in 2017. After his father’s death, Andy moved into a group home in Oshkosh and no longer had transportation options to Appleton.
Through Vocational Support Services, a program of Goodwill that supports people with disabilities in obtaining and maintaining employment in the community, Andy was welcomed to the Oshkosh Retail Store and Training Center team in early 2018. Through the help of store leadership and his job coaches, Andy transitioned well into this new position.
“Andy is autistic and nonverbal so no one was sure how he was going to handle all the change he had in such a short period of time,” said Erin Dey, Oshkosh Retail Store and Training Center store team leader. “There were concerns he would struggle with the transition. We are happy to say that all the concerns never happened, and he is excelling in his role here.”
After months of successfully bagging toys and pricing new items, Andy transitioned to merchandising, as store leaders recognized Andy was capable of more and needed to be challenged.
“He is happy and smiling a lot when working. He likes to stay working so if you stop to talk too long to him or his job coach, he just keeps moving, doing what he is working on,” Erin said. “We look forward to many more years with Andy and seeing the growth he still has in his role with us.”
About Goodwill: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2017 helped improve the lives of more than 70,000 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. Goodwill NCW is one of four companies in the nation to be honored with a Platinum Well Workplace Award from the Wellness Council of America, which recognizes our commitment to wellness in the workplace. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, 24 human services programs, a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at www.reStitch.com, a women’s apparel website, and www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers four Donation Express sites and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of GuideStar.org, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit www.goodwillncw.org.