New Community Employment Center Opens Door to Opportunity

By Isabel Hughes in The Star News – 11/07/2019

The fifth Goodwill Community Employment Center (CEC) in San Diego County opened its doors on Wednesday in Chula Vista with the mission of helping community members who have a disability or face barriers to employment navigate through their job search.

Goodwill Industries of San Diego County Director of Communications Darlene Cossio said people facing barriers to employment could include those who are transitioning to civilian life after serving in the military, young adults from disadvantaged or underrepresented communities, those with a language barrier or those who are searching for their first job.

“Being gainfully employed prevents me from becoming homeless and knowing that I’m making a contribution leads to my confidence and self esteem,” Cossio said.

Last year, Goodwill CEC’s served more than 4,500 people in San Diego County with their job search, according to Cossio, and the Chula Vista location will expand that reach. All of Goodwill’s CEC’s are funded through revenue produced from Goodwill stores.

The Chula Vista CEC, located at 865 East H Street, will offer four weekly workshops led by Goodwill career advisors, including an “Ace the Interview” Workshop every Monday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., a Workplace Communication Workshop every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., an Online Job Application Workshop every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and a Résumé Workshop every Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Community members can also go to the center anytime during regular hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to take an independent computer basics workshop and learn how to operate a computer in addition to basic Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel skills.

“The greatest thing about our career advisors is the relationship that they build with the job seekers to make the feel well prepared and confident,” Cossio said. “They’ve also built great relationships with employers in the community, making it easier to match a job seeker with a job opening.”

She added that Goodwill has a relationship with a variety of employers including Amazon, AccentCare, Allied Universal, the County of San Diego, Jiffy Lube, Mission Federal Credit Union, Shell Stations, Wendy’s and more.

In San Diego County, Goodwill employs about 1,400 people and about 50 percent of them have a disability or faced a barrier to employment.

“For a lot of folks this means a great opportunity that leads to self sufficiency,” Cossio said.

To read the full article in The Star News, click here.