A Year of Good Work

Goodwill’s School of Welding

We have a challenge for you — and an opportunity to give independence and dignity this holiday season.

Goodwill’s School of Welding is relocating to our corporate headquarters in Detroit. This move is necessary for us to expand our program as the demand for welders continues to rise in Metro Detroit. This expansion allows us to train twice as many individuals each year to receive a Level 1 Welding Certification. Julius Norman has been the director of the welding program since its creation in 2014 and has watched nearly 125 welders graduate and go on to secure jobs paying an average of $14.24 an hour.

“Most of my students in the program have come from a position of incarceration. We probably have the best track record against recidivism within our community. The trainees rarely go back to their previous life of crime,” says Julius.

The 12-week course teaches students welding safety, blueprint reading, shielded metal arc welding, and math. These are all critical skills needed in the welding industry. Since its inception, Goodwill’s School of Welding has received strong support from the Iron Workers Union, who tests all the candidates for graduation and provides ongoing mentoring and coaching. A number of employers have provided letters verifying their interest in recruiting and hiring program graduates. More importantly, graduates of the program have not only gained employment opportunities, but have been provided with blueprints to rebuild their lives.

I receive stories every day from my former students who have now become entrepreneurs making close to $60,000 a year,” says Julius. “And that’s what it’s all about; empowering individuals with opportunities to grow and move up.” Take a minute to imagine what these individual’s futures would look like without this program. They would often struggle to obtain and keep a low-wage job and continue to live in a vicious cycle of poverty and ultimately crime.

As you can see, Goodwill Detroit transforms lives and communities. It is donors like you that make it possible for us to provide programming like our welding school to individuals desperate to change their lives for good. I am asking you to give independence and dignity this holiday.

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