In October, twenty-two year old Brittany Lamprecht boarded a plane at GSP Airport for her first flight ever. She was heading to Kansas for five days to visit her parents who had relocated there. Flying was certainly an exciting experience, but more importantly, Brittany had earned the money to make this trip on her own. Just months earlier she could never have imagined paying for airfare or actually taking a vacation.
In 2013, Brittany was barely making ends meet. Living in Fork Shoals with her sister, she didn’t have reliable transportation and was in and out of low-paying jobs. All she really wanted was some steady work and to be independent. Her dream was to save enough money to go back to Greenville Tech.
Tiffany Foster, a case manager for Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina, remembers the day Brittany walked through the doors. “She came in looking for a job, but I invited her to stay for the WIA Program orientation which happened to be going on that day. What a coincidence! Fortunately she decided to stay.”
Brittany was eligible for Goodwill’s WIA Youth Program, which is funded through Greenville County Workforce Development and provides free case management and support services for job-seeking youth (ages 18 – 21) who live in Greenville County. Participants must be unemployed and facing employment challenges, not enrolled in school and meet specific income requirements.
Joining the program is a commitment for these young people. First, they must take an assessment. Based on their test result,s they may be required to do some online skill building. Brittany did well in English, but she needed to work on her math skills.
Once a participant has passed the tests, a week of Work Readiness Training is next.
“I learned all kinds of cool things like life skills, budgeting and putting together a resume. And the best part was learning about interviewing; like what to wear and what to say and not to say. I had not done well interviewing in the past,” says Brittany.
Work Readiness was followed by a week of retail training where she learned customer service skills, how to operate a forklift and received National Retail Federation certification. The last and most important part of the process was putting this new knowledge into practice with 6 weeks of on-the job training at Goodwill. During this time Brittany started applying for jobs.
Brittany’s world changed forever last June when she was hired as an assembler at ZF Transmissions in Gray Court. Starting as a temp, Brittany was moved quickly into a permanent position due to her strong work ethic. She earns more than $13.00/hour and is already due for a promotion and a raise. “My job is awesome and there is room for growth. I have made lots of friends too. And I get benefits and vacation days!” This job has allowed her to move into her own place, become independent and yes…even travel.
I asked Brittany what was next for her. For the time being she is happy progressing in her job at ZF Transmissions. It is allowing her to save money so someday she can follow her dream of going back to school to study medical coding. “You know I got an “A” in my medical terminology class,” she shared proudly.
Brittany’s advice to others is, “Be sure to have a purpose and keep working until you accomplish your goals.”
Goodwill Industries of Midlands/Upstate South Carolina helped more than 10,000 people find jobs in 2014. For more information about the organization, visit www.GoodwillSC.org or call 864.351.0100.