Each month RochesterWorks! features a business in Monroe County that is noted for their dedication to recruiting and using RochesterWorks! services. During the month we spotlight their company on our website and give them an opportunity to share tips and information about their business with interested job seekers.

In August we invited The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI)-Goodwill of the Finger Lakes to be our Business of the Month. At their presentation a representative from the Human Resources team here in Rochester shared stories, insight, and tips with for job seekers interested in employment.

Keep reading to find out what we learned.

ABVI-Goodwill of the Finger Lakes empowers people with barriers to independence to be self-sufficient through unique job training and employment opportunities in retail stores, donation centers, state-of-the-art call center and a food service program. Headquartered here in Rochester ABVI-Goodwill of the Finger Lakes employs over 800 people in a 20-county territory.

You may know ABVI-Goodwill for its donated goods retail stores, but there is a lot more to learn. Let’s see how much you know about the organization. We can’t cover everything, but here is some of what we learned during the presentation in August.

Did you know?

  • They offer Career Training and Assistance for anyone who is visually impaired.
  • Representatives can act as a liaison for job seekers needing assistance in speaking with a company about visual impairment.
  • They serve 800-1200 meals a day through their Food Service program.
  • They operate a Low Vision Center to help people adapt to their visual impairment.
  • They have developed an e-commerce site to sell donated specialty and electronic goods.
  • They operate a 2/47 “2-1-1 Lifeline” for crisis/suicide intervention and information and referral services in 6 counties. Their operators also assist with Facebook’s program to help users anonymously contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on behalf of at-risk users. Once notified an anonymous message is sent to the at-risk user offering assistance and encouraging them to call the Lifeline.

An Insider’s Tips for Job Seekers

  • Ban the Box Initiative
    • On our applications we have removed the question about criminal records to help those who have made mistakes in the past to move forward. Many people are unsure of what and when to disclose in these instances so we give them an opportunity to discuss this question in an interview instead of on an application.
  • Qualifications
    • If you don’t exactly meet the qualifications for a position, but can make a case as to why your experience measures up go ahead and apply! In some cases, for example, a Doctor of Optometry, we cannot adjust our qualifications. For others we’re willing to give you a chance!
  • Stand Out from the Competition
    • Know why you want to join our team. We look for people who have targeted our organization because you believe in what do we do. We are proud to work here and we want to know that you would fit in.
    • Apply with attitude. If you think, “I’ll never hear back from them,” it’s likely that you might be right. Be confident and prepared to move ahead in the process.
    • Be professional in every detail. Make sure that your email address, voice mail message, and ring back tone don’t give us a reason to stop moving you along in the process.
  • Working at ABVI-Goodwill
    • The atmosphere at work is welcoming, open, and encouraging every day. You can really see how the job you’re doing directly benefits our community.

How to Apply for Jobs at ABVI-Goodwill of the Finger Lakes

  1. Find current openings at http://www.goodwillfingerlakes.com/Careers and apply online.
  2. Carefully read the job description. Some positions have the requirement of being visually impaired, while others do not.
  3. Check back often, we are growing! We update our current openings every Monday.
    Please Note: If you are interested in our organization, but don’t see a specific posting online don’t submit a general application. We cannot process your application until it is attached to a specific opening.
  4. Remember that we are your advocate to the hiring manager. It is our job to make sure that you’re not only capable of doing the job, but are a good fit as well with the company and the team you would be joining. Have a clear understanding of yourself and your goals then clearly communicate your interest to us.

Volunteer with Us!

Think about how often you read your mail, drive your car, and shop at the grocery store. Now think about how hard those tasks would be if you were visually impaired. When you volunteer with ABVI-Goodwill you have the opportunity to invest in the lives of members of our community that aren’t able to do many of those tasks on their own. The opportunities to get involved are endless and every minute matters even if you only have one hour a year to help.
Opportunities include Drivers, Personal Readers, Personal Shoppers, Vision Services, Children’s Programs, and Special Events.
For more information contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@abvi-goodwill.com or call (585) 232-1111.

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