by Jack Mayne Training people in need to get and keep a job is a major focus of the Burien office for Seattle Goodwill and its work is constrained only by the size of its local facility, the Burien City Council study session was told Monday night (Oct. 26). Janice Rapier, jobs training and education director at Seattle Goodwill Job Training Center, and Betsy McFeely, director of community relations, told the Council’s monthly study session that its store at 1031 SW 128th Street, is one of 10 education training centers in the Seattle Goodwill network. Keeping the job McFeely said the mission is to provide “quality, effective employment training and basic education to low income individuals and those with significant barriers to economic opportunity.” Goodwill’s job training mission is helping people become job ready, she said, as well as providing classes and “improving behaviors that lead to success,” along with “comprehensive employment services” and “offering excellent instruction in a variety of topics directly related to successful employment.” “Sometimes people get the job but have a hard time keeping the job because of some of those behaviors, working as part of a team, working with a supervisor, being on time, those sorts of behaviors,” McFeely said. Goodwill realized that some help for people’s “challenges in their personal life, to help them stabilize their home lives,” so they can focus on learning and “stay focused on the employment.” Small site helps 789 Rapier, the job training director, said the “Burien job training site is a small one located inside the store at 128th and Ambaum,” where they have two classrooms and a computer lab. That facility has classes in computer usage, English classes, basic skills and job training classes with placement help, including help with a resume and on-line job applications. Even with the small facility, the Burien location served 789 students in the current fiscal year, and placed 105 students at jobs paying $11.38 an hour, Rapier said. Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz said she had heard that Goodwill pays “its staff with disabilities a sub-minimum wage as low as even 22-cents an hour. I am wondering if that is true?” McFeely said Goodwill has not and does not use the sub-minimum wage. “All of our employees are paid at least minimum wage if not higher. Our Seattle Goodwill has not used (the sub-minimum wage) and never has used it.” Goodwill organizations nationally are separately incorporated, so such a wage could be used elsewhere, McFeely said. The only thing that keeps the Burien facility small is capacity, said Rapier. They have a big demand for evening classes but the size means they can offer only English and computer classes. McFeely said Goodwill is looking for more ways to partner and to work with cities, and that they have met with Mayor Lucy Krakowiak and City Manager Kamuron Gurol. “There may be more ways that we can help you and vice-versa,” she told the Councilmembers. Councilmember Bob Edgar asked it there was any plans to increase the size of the Burien facility. “We are always looking for new spaces that are still close to the store,” said Rapier. Immigrants and women Burien students working with Goodwill include 66 percent women, 58 percent immigrants and refugees, and 46 percent with less than high school education. In addition, only 4 percent of the students are homeless, 13 percent have disabilities and 9 percent are ex-offenders. Rapier said they see more family members in Burien, with the largest group being Hispanic and Latino “probably about 50 percent of all the local students.” Next largest ethnic group are African émigrés and African Americans at 18 percent and then Asians at 11 percent, followed by Caucasians at 11 percent, with other ethnic groups a smaller percentage. About 66 percent of the people that come into Goodwill are unemployed, she said, and 62 percent are looking for work. Those working full time comprise 17 percent and those working part time are 15 percent. When potential students come to Goodwill, Rapier said many need assistance before they can work on training. She said 31 percent need help with transportation, 27 percent have dental problems and 18 percent need housing assistance. Only about 9 percent of those coming to the Burien facility need help with getting food. “Transportation is something I am really happy that Goodwill is committed to; we are able to provide bus tickets to our students every day,” Rapier said. “That is a big cost for us but it has really increased the retention in our programs.” Help for housing Councilmember Gerald Robison asked what Goodwill does for those people with needs for housing. Rapier said they work with partners who work with housing needs and the Burien office has a small fund “that has grown over the years, and that fund is available for students who need financial assistance with rent … and just about anything.” Robison asked if they had specific programs to prevent homelessness. “Not really,” Rapier said. The way Goodwill addresses homelessness is “we provide opportunity for our students to set goals and understand the step they need to go wherever they are trying to get to in terms of their goals.” If they can help find a place to live, they do that but their goal is the preparation of “getting the job and maintaining the job.” But Rapier said Goodwill had had “a lot of successes with students getting permanent housing.” After dental problems, the next major health problem is eyeglasses, she said. “Being able to send students to get glasses is really important to us.” The major reasons students come to Burien Goodwill is to find a job or a better job (57 percent) and to learn English (48 percent). Learning about computers and getting a high school diploma or a GED are also major reasons. Rapier said Goodwill partners with the Burien library and with the Highline School District where they go to schools to “provide job readiness services” and an alternate GED program. Profits for education McFeely said Goodwill collects donated items then uses the profits from sales to operate its stores and educational operations. Items that can’t be resold in its stores or used by Goodwill are disposed in a way to “keep them out of the landfill,” said McFeely, adding that last year “we sold more than 66.2 million pounds of unusable goods to support our non-profit mission.” It also “recycled 8.21 million pounds of electronic waste.” She told the Council they had Goodwill Donation Bins available for locations in public areas. “The bins have an electronic sensor that tells the organization when the bin needs to be emptied.” She seemed to hint that a good bin location would be at the City Hall and library.]]>

Senior Reporter Jack Mayne passed away in December, 2021. In his honor we have created the Jack Mayne Journalism Scholarship.

14 replies on “Goodwill training helps needy Burien residents get, keep jobs, Council told”

  1. This is a great program that helps a lot of unemployed people trying to get back on track by teaching best practices companies are looking for as well as by building healthy habits. I trained at the Seattle Goodwill for retail and JT and George were fantastic teachers who do great jobs at inspiring trainees to go that extra mile.

    1. I love Goodwill, especially when they assist those who obviously need some help when afflicted with acute mental illness.

  2. This program sounds great. But I have to wonder what darla green thinks of this program and the people they serve. Also how many of these people have ever been to her shop and how they would be treated if they came to her shop. You have to figure these people are not dress in high fashionable clothing and are a low income citizen of burien or may possibly be homeless and have a coupon for services. Would darla green serve them or refuse services to them. I have recently read some yelp reviews on darla green’s shop and yes there a lot of 5 stars reviews but there also a few 2 star reviews that are worth taking a look at.Then in her debate she explains her helping a couple of families over the holidays seems like just enough of a charitable donation for a business and personal tax wright off. This is one of the reasons lots of celebrities and people that live in a upper class life style have charitable organization it’s more of a win for them in the public eye and on there taxes then it is about the people.

    1. Jimmy-
      I’m glad you brought up community involvement.
      Darla has been very involved in the community.
      She hosted a food/holiday drive for a single mother with terminal brain cancer.
      Another food/holiday drive for a mother of six that lost her husband.
      For the last five years she runs the used uniform sale at her child’s school. Because of these sales she is able to procure and donate 100’s of pairs of uniform pants and shirts each year for Highline School District.
      She participates in;
      Boo in Burien
      Father’s Day Car Show
      She hosted;
      Animal food drive for King County Animal Care and Control,
      Animal food drive for 5 Corners Veterinary Hospital,
      Animal food drive for Humane Society.
      And as a family in lieu of birthday gifts they request animal food for shelters.
      She also hosts local artists by hanging their art in her shop regularly.
      Years ago she lived in Seattle and volunteered at Youth Care (an at risk youth center) and volunteered at Graham Street shelter.
      These are just the few things that I’ve seen, I’m sure there is plenty more.

      1. Well maybe someone can check her taxes see how much of this stuff she writes off every year. Also in one of reviews I read someone over herd her saying a lot of negative things towards her sons school and principal. Also another one stated her fake concern for things in the community. Also do we really need someone on city council that thinks botox injections are great thing is this what we need to teach young ladies about. That it’s find to pump botulism into your body instead of eating a healthy diet getting the correct amount of exercise.
        Here is a link with some of the side effects of botox

    2. Interesting choice of posts for this article. Like talking about ice cream while playing pinball? hmmmmm…..

  3. Jimmy – you really shouldn’t comment on things that you have no actual “FACTS” on. Wendy just put in writing all of the charitable things Darla has done. “And as a family in lieu of birthday gifts they request animal food for shelters.
    She also hosts local artists by hanging their art in her shop regularly.
    Years ago she lived in Seattle and volunteered at Youth Care (an at risk youth center) and volunteered at Graham Street shelter” – These things along with other activities are not tax deductible.
    And BTW – have you ever been to Darla’s shop? If not then you have no idea on that either.

    1. Well yes I seen darals shop yes it has a big sign in the window offering botox\filler injections is this a local artists work. I have also witness her fake concern for things in the community. In reading more things about her and also being able to read a person like a book. I can tell personally their are things not adding up with her story about the “meth head” at her store. With how all the people that are hounding on anyone that disagrees with darla, Bob,lucey it really makes me wonder why can’t we have are own opinion on this blog about these candates. Just because these candates might be some or your neighbors or friends does not mean you need to automatically vote for them with out looking in there past and future and things they said to make sure they are telling the truth. But it seems like a lot of people from the neighborhoods where these candates live seem to think that every one has to vote the same way they have done. But in the past we have seen how these people work together
      To make small issues a big deal . Like how teenagers hanging around the library is a bad thing but turn the law into its a homeless issue . Or some people on here blame l.B for all the crime and other issues in burien when most of this stuff has happened way before l.B was on the council. Most people realize that durning the summer months there is increase in people out and about which mean yes I higher rate of crime in those months. So who knows how this election will turn out but people need to look into who there voting for from all angles.

      1. Thinking about these botox injections. What is the difference in a heroin/meth user and someone using botox injections other than the law side. Someone spending $100 to $1000 dollars to inject dangerous chemical in there body to feel better or different for a couple days or a few hours may be a month or two causing unknow damage to their body. Then some will say well botox is approved by the FDA “Jimmy” so your wrong about this. But what about opiate pain killers they are also approved by the FDA. What is the real difference from someone injecting this stuff in there body in a day spa or in a public restroom. Think about it this way if you’re to walk into a restroom and someone had a needle to there face injecting something in them what would think. Then they come out of the bathroom and there face is all swollen like they are addicted to real fresh honey.

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