Social Services General

Goodwill North Central Texas helps students with disabilities earn summer paycheck

Written by Mindia Whittier

Eligible students include those with an Individualized Education Plan or a 504 Plan.

This summer, more than 30 different worksites hosted students throughout Tarrant County where youth with disabilities had an opportunity to obtain workplace readiness training and paid work experience.

Goodwill North Central Texas provided the program, Summer Earn & Learn, to help students with disabilities aged 16-22 transition from a classroom environment to the real-world work setting. It was conducted in collaboration with Texas Workforce Solutions Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County.

Students were placed with community partners such as Walgreens, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Movie Tavern, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, UTA Dining, Mr. Jim’s Pizza, and Baylor Scott and White. The cities of Keller, Fort Worth, Watauga, and Arlington and other entities also hosted students.

Goodwill North Central Texas has served more than 600 students since 2017 through Summer Earn & Learn. For the 2022 program, 93 students enrolled.

Goodwill is the largest employer of people with disabilities in the world. Goodwill North Central Texas is based in Fort Worth and serves 18 counties in the region. The nonprofit’s 27 area retail locations provide revenue through the sale of donated goods to support Goodwill’s mission. The organization provides job training and career services programs for people with disabilities, such as physical or mental disabilities and other barriers to employment including lack of education or work experience and homelessness.

About the author

Mindia Whittier