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Learning the ways of retailing through Goodwill

Friday, April 26, 2013 - 12:01 am

A couple of times a year, staff members at Goodwill Industries of Northeast Indiana gather a few good candidates from among their clients and teach them to work in retail businesses.

The retail training program can entail as much as six weeks' training, beginning with 20 hours of classroom instruction during the first week.

Because so much of the teaching entails hands-on instruction, teachers limit the number of students involved at one time to only four or five, said Randy Wolf, director of client services for Goodwill Industries of Northeast Indiana.

The students also spend quite a bit of time working in retail, both in Goodwill stores and in a Fort Wayne Walgreens store, he said.

Students cover a lot of territory in only a few weeks of training, according to Wolf. They go beyond the obvious, such as handling money and operating cash registers, to working with customers on the telephone, store maintenance, safety, warranties and return policies, job-interview techniques.