Youth Programming

Goodwill Connects Program

The Goodwill Connects Program is designed to provide students from all four local school districts in the Battle Creek area with an opportunity for career exploration, job training and summer work experience. The goal is for successful participants to have opportunities for long-term employment. Local businesses have the opportunity to work with and train their future labor force in a hands-on environment. Goodwill Connects consists of three phases to help students transition from a school to entry-level positions. Click here for more information about the Goodwill Connects program.

Phase I – Classroom Training and employer visits.

Phase II– Soft Skills Training and a summer work experience.

Phase III– Long term employment.

Key Benefits for Participants

  • Career exploration
  • Specific career training
  • Financial literacy training
  • Hard skills training
  • Soft skills training
  • Summer work experience
  • College visits to explore additional educational opportunities
  • Job coaching
  • Weekly work performance evaluations during Phase II
  • Additional supportive services
  • Mentoring
  • Follow-up after exit

Key Benefits for Employers

  • Opportunity to preview your potential workforce.
  • Opportunity to shape and participate in training potential workforce.
  • Opportunity to mentor and evaluate your potential workforce.
  • Opportunity for subsidized labor
  • Opportunity to recruit and hire successful graduates of the program

Goodwill Connects Program offers workforce development training to help students in Battle Creek lead successful adult lives as described by Vice President of Operations, HI-Lex America, Dave Hemmerlein.

“It’s just an unbelievable opportunity for kids and, actually, for the employers, too. It gets us involved in the community and explains to the youth what an actual manufacturer does and contributes to the community. Plus, it also gives us a chance to learn about how things are different with today’s youth than when we were kids. We’d like to have the kids understand what’s needed to go to work in the industry. We also hope they get kind of a pride in getting involved in the community.”

Supervisor Training

With employer input a program was designed to address generational and communication issues between supervisors and our youth.

Objective: Supervisors learn about Goodwill Connects and are able to identify key issues that affect youth and their parents living in poverty.

  • Topics
  • Program overview
  • Bridges out of Poverty
    • What life is like now
    • Hidden rules
    • Resources
  • Generational differences
  • Safety training
  • Goodwill policy & procedures
    • Timecards
    • Evaluations


Employer/business owners have the opportunity to interact with and train their future workforce.

Supervisors commented on a post program survey that the training better prepared them to interact with participants and their employees. Thus the work experience was more positive.

Click the Goodwill Connects Application to download or call for more information 269-788-6500 Ext. 2047.

Information # 269-788-6500