Goodwill offering felons a second chance

Goodwill offering felons a second chance

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Goodwill employees do more than get customers a good deal, they're changing lives.

The Transitional Employment Opportunity program, or TEO, acts a transition for those with a history of non-violent felonies.

The program started in Little Rock, but because of its huge success is now available in Region 8.

Stephanie Barker with Goodwill said it's vital that people not only be given a second chance, but be provided with the tools they need to do so.

"They learn about resume writing," Reentry Coordinator Stephanie Barker said. "They learn about how to fill out an application. We go over different jobs that are available. We do mock interviews with them because if a person has a good job to go to, if they have food to eat, if they can support their family they're going to be a productive member of society."

Barbara Chamlies recently graduated from the program. She said the guidance she received was invaluable.

"I've been used to having doors close in my face and that was a real disappointment and it's helped to build my confidence by giving me a job," Chamlies said.

TEO is a 16-week program and Barker said they have a 90% success rate.

If a TEO graduate is selected for potential employment, Goodwill will pay their salary with that company for the first month.

For more information about this program, log onto their website.

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