Every Monday, we'll be posting a new story of how our mission has assisted people in the community. Be sure to check back each week for a new and inspirational story of someone who was helped by Goodwill Manasota. Changing lives through the power of work...it's what we do.



Alice had been working at Nielsen Market Research for 21 years when her employer announced a layoff. She was one of nearly 400 Nielson employees who lost their jobs due to the closing of Neilsen’s Video Diary division in Venice. Alice was a production manager who had received several promotions due to her hard work and great people skills. Now she would need to find a new job for the first time in over two decades.


She heard about Goodwill's Job Connection program from several of her co-workers, learning that she could receive assistance with her resume and job search at no cost. Alice met with Antonia, Goodwill’s career development facilitator, and said she was interested in finding a job as an office manager.  Unfortunately, Alice did not have the computer skills that most businesses required and was not getting any interviews for the positions where she had applied. She had used a computer at Nielsen but she was not familiar with Microsoft Office or other necessary programs.


Antonia asked Alice about the jobs she had had in the past and worked with her to identify other types of jobs that would interest her. Alice and Antonia worked on creating a resume and Antonia showed her how to use online tools to search and apply for jobs.  


Although she had called and left several voicemails for Alice, Antonia did not hear from her for almost a month after her first couple of appointments. Antonia finally sent her a letter, explaining that she was discharging Alice from the program for failure to maintain contact. Alice received the letter and called immediately, explaining that she felt depressed. She confided that she had just learned that her son was addicted to drugs.


Antonia encouraged Alice to keep looking for employment and provided her with information for NAR-ANON, a 12-Step program for families and friends of addicts. Alice was able to find a support group within five miles of her home. She began attending meetings and learning about the skills she needed in order to “move on” with her life.


Alice resumed her job search with Antonia. When a security company offered Alice a job as a security specialist, she returned to the Job Connection office for assistance in completing the onboarding requirements. She was excited to announce that she would be a “virtual security guard,” never having to leave the comforts of her desk. Even better, her employer was paying for her to get her security license.  Today, Alice is earning about the same pay as she had been making at Nielsen after working there for many years.


Alice’s husband now accompanies her to the NAR-ANON meetings and is learning about the disease of addiction with her. She said she still gets sad when she thinks about her son and the path his life has taken. However, now that she has a job and a network of people to lean on, she no longer feels alone.  Alice is glad she found someone who could help her with ALL of the community resources she needed.  It’s what we do …