Goodwill, Blennerhassett Hotel providing career support for Parkersburg resident

WTAP News @ 6 - This Is Home: Local teen gets career help from local businesses
Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 2:26 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Goodwill Industries of the Kanawha Valley and the Blennerhassett Hotel are providing career support for Jonathan Davis, an area resident living with autism and a participant in Goodwill’s career training program in Parkersburg.

Goodwill offers a number of career support services currently, and will provide additional services when its Prosperity Center opens this summer. Among the services currently available are the classes Davis participated in, including a soft skill, pre-employment class followed by a community-based assessment program with the hotel. Facilitated by the Division of Rehabilitation Services, that program grants Davis a certain number of hours to try out working in various vocations at locations throughout Parkersburg.

At the hotel, Davis has performed a wide range of tasks, including laundry, working in the cafe, and more. He has approximately 30 hours left to complete and the hotel is hopeful that he will be hired on a more permanent basis.

“He has progressed, in an amazing way, through the services that we have,” said David Mitchell, career center manager for Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley in Parkersburg. “The Blennerhassett has been a wonderful resource and a very supportive environment,” he added.

After high school graduation, Davis completed a semester at Marshall University through its program for autistic students and hopes to find an employment opportunity that will allow him to save money and return.

“Jonathan was the first person I began working with...I’ve seen such a dynamic change in him. When he first started, he was very shy, and now I see him the Blennerhassett, joking with them left and right,” Mitchell added.

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