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- 2012 - October - 10th -
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From left, Eric Eastland, Goodwill Industries of North Florida board of directors chairman, honored Goodwill Achievers of the Year Linda and Dillard Turner, Shameki Zimmerman and Norman Rich. Goodwill President and CEO Bob Thayer is at right.
Photo courtesy of Jeremy Paterno
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Goodwill honors achievers

From staff

Goodwill Industries of North Florida honored its 2012 Achievers of the Year on Thursday at its Annual Striving to Succeed Luncheon and Celebrity Fashion Show.

More than 600 supporters gathered at the annual event.

The achievers were chosen from more 11,000 people who found jobs through Goodwill programs and services.

“Each individual has overcome incredible obstacles just to get up, go to work, earn a paycheck and support themselves,” said a news release from Goodwill.

Honored were:

• Norman Rich. Goodwill described Rich as “a quiet and shy high-school dropout lacking in socialization skills” who was “afraid of people in general and scared to leave his home.” His mother heard about Goodwill’s 2005 Achievers of the Year, who included a blind man.

“Norman’s mother immediately thought, if Goodwill can help a blind man find a job, Goodwill can help my son find a job.” She brought Rich to the Goodwill Job Junction the next day and enrolled him in our services.

Rich began working in Goodwill’s custodial training program and also learned how to interact with his peers and his supervisor, developing his socialization skills.

Encouraged by his supervisor, he returned to school for his GED and is attending classes at Jones College.

Rich has been employed full-time at Goodwill for more than six years and recently was promoted to its E-Commerce department.

• Dillard and Linda Turner. Dillard and Linda Turner were unemployed and enrolled for services at the Blanding Job Junction.

In their mid-50s, both found computer skills were necessary to look for work in the current job market. They met with the Goodwill employment specialist and learned the basics of preparing a resume, creating an email account and applying for jobs online.

They followed up on job leads provided by Job Junction and found full-time jobs. Dillard Turner works at JaxPort, processing automobiles, and Linda Turner is a caregiver for a private client.

• Shameki Zimmerman. Goodwill said Zimmerman, a single mother with a young son, lost her job in a downsizing. Without a job and money, she was forced to live out of her car.

She enrolled for services at the Job Junction and was encouraged to attend a job fair, where she learned about a sales associate position available at the Goodwill store in Jacksonville Beach. She interviewed and was hired.

“Shameki’s positive attitude, strong work ethic and attention to detail quickly led her up the management ranks,” said Goodwill.

She was promoted to manager of the Mandarin Goodwill store, where she has developed “a strong customer base, increased store sales, developed a friendly and energetic staff and really turned this store around.”

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