I recently worked with BackFocus Productions on two video projects for Goodwill Industries of Arkansas focusing on their Transitional Employment Opportunity (TEO) program. This is the third time we've worked with Goodwill and we love everything about this company and what they represent to those they help throughout Arkansas.
Goodwill’s Transitional Employment Opportunity (TEO) program offers job readiness training and job placement services for people re-entering the workforce.
This video features John Crihfield who is the Frank Lyon Jr. Achiever of the Year 2015. Just two years ago, John was serving a 20-year prison sentence after a painful childhood, drug abuse, as well as a learning disability. Today, Crihfield is Goodwill’s Frank Lyon Jr. Achiever of the Year and works as a donation service associate in one of the Northwest Arkansas Goodwill store.
NWA Re-entry Coach, Joe Bruton said, “All the hard work that John has put in to help change his life - the award could not go to a more deserving individual.
The second video features Brian Miller. Both of John's parents struggling with drug addiction, the odds were stacked against Brian Miller from the start. Brian compounded his challenges with poor choices that landed him in federal prison serving a 36-month sentence. It only took a handful of people and the right resources to help him rebuild his life. Brian currently works as a Production Supervisor, and was named Goodwill’s Graduate of the Year 2015.
Watch Brian’s story:
In Brian's own words,
"Not only did they help me change my life...they changed my children’s life, because they got their father back. I’m working and doing something positive."
Finding gainful employment today is a challenge. What would it be like to add a felony to your job application? Thousands of Arkansans are released from prison every year, and one out of two, go back to prison.
Goodwill understands this is certainly preventable if only these people have a real chance to rebuild their lives through education, hard work and earning a paycheck while working on these skills. A strong community means creating an environment where every single person has an opportunity to contribute. Rebuilding lives creates value for everyone.
The 16-week training program provides assessment, occupational training, career planning and job search assistance, resume development and basic education services and more.
Goodwill has served over 15,000 clients through their various programs and services in the past year alone.
So the next time you donate clothing, furniture or any other miscellaneous items to Goodwill, the monies generated from those sales goes to fund programs Goodwill like the TEO program.
We wish to thank for both Goodwill Industries of Arkansas and Sajni Kumpuris for this opportunity to collaborate on a great project.
Here are some of our Behind-the-scenes photos from John and Brian's videos.
On a side note, it seems that people who shop at Goodwill will buy just about anything, even without knowing what it is.
We filmed John's story in the NWA location inside the store in one of their conference rooms. Space was tight. We left our productions along the wall in the back of the store. Shoppers at Goodwill were very interested in our carts, especially what they could buy off the carts. We had to tell three different shoppers that our apple boxes were not for sale. Then people tried to buy our flags....then a pouch filled with C-47s (clothespins for the non-production people).
It seems our finely-crafted "Not for Sale" signs didn't work.