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Workforce Development Career Academy

Goodwill Industries of the Pioneer Valley provides services to individuals seeking assistance in entering and returning to the workforce. Goodwill accepts participants through referrals from the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. Community members seeking support without a referral are also welcome. Workforce Development provides hard and soft skills training and helps participants overcome barriers that keep them from working. The locations in Springfield and Holyoke that are both accessible by public transportation. Goodwill has many employment partners and works hard to match the participants’ employment interests with jobs that lead to self-sufficiency.

The Workforce Development Career Academy actively participates in partnerships with the Western Massachusetts Employment Collaborative, MGM Grand Casino, Dress for Success, The Holyoke Career Closet, Rebecca’s Closet, United Personnel, and many employers.

Employment Services for Individuals with Disabilities

Employment Support Programs: Goodwill provides individuals with support to achieve their employment goals. Referrals are made by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services’ (DDS) Springfield and Holyoke/Chicopee area offices. This program offers individuals paid employment in supportive, supervised environments. Individuals can choose from a variety of work opportunities at group and individual supported employment sites. Individuals are encouraged to develop and refine work skills, learn and demonstrate positive work behaviors, and move to more independent work settings. Individuals perform tasks of varying complexity and are paid minimum wage.

Transitional Services Program: Goodwill provides job exploration opportunities for students in the 17-22 age range. The program provides an opportunity for students to explore work environments in their community through job readiness programs and on-the-job training in Goodwill Stores retail operations. Goodwill collaborates with Springfield Public Schools, Palmer Public Schools, Holyoke Public Schools, and Chicopee Public Schools.

In Home Residential Services

Adult Foster Care (AFC): AFC is a program for individuals with disabilities who cannot live safely on their own. AFC members must need daily help with personal care (bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, ambulation or eating) in order to qualify for this program. AFC provides an opportunity for the individual to live in a family setting with a trained and committed caregiver. The member and caregiver receive support and oversight from a registered nurse and case manager. Referrals can be made by DDS, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, individuals, or their families. Caregivers can be family or non-family members. Adult foster care is a MassHealth funded program.

Shared Living: Shared Living is a residential support in which an individual lives with a caregiver in a private home. The member and caregiver will receive monthly case management support and oversight. Individuals must meet DDS eligibility to receive this service. This program is funded through DDS.