Workforce Development


Goodwill’s® Workforce Development Department gives program participants the skills to obtain and maintain employment- We put people to work! Through coaching, vocational training, interview and resume preparation, job seeking, and other programs, we help local residents develop, expand and reach their vocational goals. Goodwill Industries of Erie, Huron, Sandusky and Ottawa Counties is accredited by The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in two areas:  Employment Services, including Community Employment Services, Job Development, Job Support, and Job Site Training; and Organizational Employment Services. We are also certified by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities to provide vocational habilitation services.



Work Hours

Regular business hours are Monday- Friday from 8:00 am-4:30 pm.

Employment Services 

Goodwill’s® Workforce Development programs provide a broad range of employment services to eligible participants on a referral basis. Participants may enroll in one or more of the following:

Workforce Development Program Eligibility

To enroll in Workforce Development programs, participants must meet eligibility criteria and be able to demonstrate the following:

  • A referral from a sponsoring agency.
  • A physical, emotional, mental disability, special needs or vocational disadvantage.
  • Willingness to participate voluntarily.
  • The minimum age is 14. If under 18, written consent from a parent or guardian is required.
  • Meets additional admission criteria,if applicable, for specific training programs.
  • Mobility through prosthetic or assistive devices and ability to meet personal needs, including feeding and toileting.
  • Participation in Goodwill® activities requires that a participant’s behavior or disability will not create or contribute to unsafe conditions for the participant or others.

Participants who meet eligibility criteria but cannot immediately enter a program due to space limitations are placed on a waiting list and informed in writing of the action and reason for it being taken. If an individual is declared ineligible for services, the individual and his or her counselor will receive a written statement of the reason(s) for the determination.

Vocational Habilitation

Vocational Habilitation, Workforce DevelopmentThe Vocational Habilitation Program provides individuals with a work environment where they can foster their highest level of independence through training, heightened work, communication, decision-making, and self-help skills. The goal for individuals in this program is to have the opportunity to obtain and sustain community employment. 

Individuals participating in the Vocational Habilitation Program have a My Vision Plan (MVP), formerly Individual Service Plan (ISP). The individual, together with family, Vocational Habilitation staff members, and their county Service and Support Administrators (SSA), create a yearly MVP Plan. This includes yearly waiver budgets for services, which include long-term outcomes or goals guided by action steps taken to help the individual reach their outcomes while working in the program. These goals and their action steps may be revised at any time according to need. 

Individuals interested in this program must be referred by their county board of the Department of Developmental Disabilities. For Erie County, click here. For Ottawa County, click here.


Pre-Employment Transition Services, Workforce Development

Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) are provided to students with disabilities who have been determined eligible or are potentially eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation servicesServices are short-term and can precede or supplement traditional VR transition servicesThey are designed to help students identify career interests and improve the transition of students from school to postsecondary education and/or employment outcomes.   

Digital Skills

Digital Skills, Workforce Development

Computer assessment and training programs are designed to evaluate an individual’s clerical ability to operate a computer in an office settingTesting for basic, intermediate and advanced knowledge of programs in the Microsoft Office Suite is conductedInstruction is offered in basic office administrative duties.   

Community-Based Assessment

Community Based Assessment, Workforce DevelopmentA Community-Based Assessment (CBA) is a tool to help individuals determine their fit for specific vocational goals. The assessment assists in identifying the individual’s abilities, behaviors, and preferences and exploring specific employment opportunities that may match the individual’s strengths and needs. A CBA is a time-limited service that evaluates an individual’s vocational abilities. The CBA can be conducted within any of our Goodwill locations and in the community. The participant may advance to job development or possibly be hired by the assessment location. 

A funding agency must refer individuals interested in this service. 


Job Coaching

Job Coaching, Workforce DevelopmentJob Coaching provides instruction to learn job tasks, develop natural and peer supports, and adjust to the work environment. Job Coaching may occur on-site or off-site. Examples of off-site Job Coaching could be contacting the participant before or after work to problem-solve possible concerns that may impact employment. Job Coaching services are also utilized to provide continued support to the participant and/or employer after the participant has learned the job tasks and reached their expected level of independence to ensure the stability of the placement and enhance retention. 

The outcome of the service is that the participant will be able to perform job tasks within the employer’s accepted quality and quantity standards and that the participant will have successfully learned the job tasks and adjusted to the work environment.     

 A funding agency must refer individuals interested in this service.

Job Development

Job Development. Workforce Development

Job Development is utilized to prepare and assist participants in contacting businesses, applying and interviewing with employers, and securing competitive integrated employment. Job Development should include, but is not limited to: 

  • Instruction and guidance about how to locate potential job opportunities (e.g. networking); 
  • Use of Ohio Means Jobs and other electronic job boards, newspapers, online, and “cold” calling);  
  • Development of a resume, mock application template, and cover letters;  
  • How to answer interview questions, including issues such as gaps in employment histories; requesting reasonable accommodations, addressing criminal histories; and managing online profiles/social media.   


This instruction and guidance from Job Development services should maximize the independence of the participant to conduct their own job search. Based upon the needs of the participant, Job Development may also include the job developer updating the job seeker’s resume and mock application, sending out cover letters and resumes to potential employers, providing job leads to the participant to follow up on, review of the participant’s interview skills, follow up contacts with employers when applications have been submitted or when a participant has an interview, discussion of hiring incentives and tax credits with the business, and proving support in requesting and implementing reasonable accommodations.  


A funding agency must refer individuals interested in this service.

Summer Youth Work Experience

Summer Youth Work Experience, Workforce Development.

The Summer Youth Work Experience (SYWE) is a program that gives individuals (aged from 14 through 21 years old) an opportunity to identify several vocational areas of interest; possess a general understanding of the job-seeking process; the ability to meet employer’s expectations as far as quality and quantity of work, work behaviors, etc.; build upon communication and interpersonal skills; and/or address other potential vocational barriers.

SYWE can be at any Goodwill location and in the community. SYWE services may be provided on a 1:1 basis to accommodate disability-related needs or based on a specific employment outcome identified by the referral source. While youth are participating in the program, they earn minimum wage.

Individuals interested in this program must be referred by Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. To reach their website, click here.

Senior Community Service Employment Program

SCSEPAt Goodwill®, we help seniors find work, develop new skills and talents, and build their financial security by taking advantage of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). SCSEP is an on-the-job training and employment program designed to help those aged 55 and older update their job skills, build work experience and confidence, and continue economic security and well-being.

As a Participant
You receive paid training, gain valuable skills and experience, and build self-confidence. You can use your skills and talents to improve your community by training in a wide variety of locations, including offices, hospitals, daycare centers, and other community organizations.

Want to know if you qualify? Answer the following questions:

  • Are you 55 years of age or older?
  • Are you unemployed?
  • Do you earn a low or no income? Goodwill will help you determine the income criteria.
  • Do you wish to work in your community?
  • Do you want to be paid to learn new skills through on-the-job training?

If you answered yes to these questions, you might be eligible for SCSEP!

To learn more about the SCSEP Program, please get in touch with Christine Zimmer at 419-625-4744 ext. 2028 or email here.

“Goodwill® proudly participates in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), a national employment and training program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. A $22,836,313 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor provided 90 percent of the funding for Goodwill’s SCSEP programs in the program year 2023. Goodwill’s provided the remaining 10 percent through in-kind contributions worth more than $2,537,378.

 See for funding details. Goodwill Industries of Erie, Huron, Ottawa and Sandusky Counties received a sub award of $259,568.00 and is contributing in-kind contributions valued at $30,169.00 to cover the remaining 10 percent of operational costs.”

SCSEP sign up.


Restart Program

ReStart Program, Workforce Development

The primary objective of our ReStart Program is to provide support to individuals who have been involved in the justice system. This involves thoroughly evaluating their abilities, work history, and barriers to securing employment. Based on this assessment, we collaborate with each participant to develop a customized strategy that addresses their specific requirements and aspirations.

Another critical aspect of the ReStart Program is our job placement services. Goodwill’s employment specialists work closely with participants to identify job opportunities matching their skills and goals. We also provide support and coaching to help participants navigate the job application and interview process. We continue to provide support after a participant secures a job to ensure they are set up for success in their new role.

If you want to learn more about the ReStart Program, please get in touch with Ryan Williams at 419-625-4744 ext. 2026 or send an email here.