Publication Date

5-2009

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Ryland White

Abstract

As one of the major tenets of national economic and social policy, job training is seen as method of decreasing unemployment and poverty and increasing social inclusion. Within in this context, job training programs have spread to a variety of community institutions and organizations. The goal of Seattle Goodwill’s Retail Customer Service Training program is to provide individuals with the opportunity for educational achievement and financial security and thereby empower individuals, families, and communities. With the majority of data collection organized around quantitative data related to course completion, job placements, and starting wages, some of the wider learning related to individual, family, community benefits of the program goes unrecognized. The purpose of this study is to gain a greater understanding of the impact of the Retail Customer Service Training Program on the lives of participants and their communities. By using data from class evaluations, interviews, and surveys of participants from the Shoreline Goodwill's Job Training and Education Center who took part in the Retail Customer Service Training program, this study attempts to account for program impacts related to empowerment, family, and community and also to act as a case study of the impacts of a non-accredited community job training program. Participants reported joining the program from a desire to escape a sense of isolation and for a new start, and noted increased confidence, new skills, new jobs, friendships, and new roles in their families and communities as a result of the program.

Disciplines

Education | Social Welfare

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