We at Goodwill Industries of Kentucky have expanded the scope, role and space of our Louisville Resource Center, located at 909 East Broadway.

With the intent to improve lives by connecting those in need with a network of resources – through advocacy, case management and referral – we’ve also enhanced our career services operations model to better support job seekers in a deeper and more impactful way.

Through career-path programs and employment services, we are now focusing on four phases when supporting participants: barrier removal, career-path planning, training and credentialing and permanent placement.

We’ve also developed a new self-sufficiency matrix to help determine the best programs and services for the needs of each individual job seeker.

“For example, an individual in crisis mode may receive different services than someone who is in a more stable place on the matrix,” Rena Sharpe, chief operating officer, explained. “We give people a hand up, not a handout — so they can experience the dignity and independence that comes with earning a paycheck.”

We’re collaborating with community and employer partners to help Kentuckians overcome barriers to gain employment and become self-sufficient. Individuals seeking support can now come to the Resource Center to meet with Goodwill career coaches or community partners for various support services: financial and budgeting support; applied digital skills in the newly designed computer lab; information about our programs, including Goodwill Cars to Work, Another Way, Last Mile to Work; behavioral, mental and spiritual health support; housing assistance; addiction treatment; legal and expungement services; soft skills certification; forklift accreditations and many more.

As we continue to build this model in Louisville, we plan to replicate it throughout the commonwealth. We have plans to expand this service model into other markets and with other partners, including Lexington, Bowling Green and Somerset.

For more information about our career services and employment programs, visit goodwillky.org/programs or watch this recent WHAS Great Day Live! segment featuring Sharpe, here: