Where there's a 'Will,' there's a Way | Hawaii Jobs

Where there’s a ‘Will,’ there’s a Way

Sales associate Emily Fanene helps a customer at the retail store.

By Maria Kanai

When it comes to doing good for the community, there are few companies that excel as well as Goodwill Hawaii. From helping people find jobs to providing a place of work, Goodwill is a long-standing champion for local people who need a helping hand to get back on their feet.

For Stefani Bindes, an employment counselor at Goodwill Hawaii, her experience at the company has been nothing but positive.

After moving to Hawaii three years ago, she began looking for employment after three months of being in the islands, on top of volunteering at Goodwill Hawaii. That’s when the supervisor of the Goodwill store she was completing community service at offered her a job.

“I never had worked retail in my entire life, but thanks to the community service hours I was doing, I had learned a lot about retail, so I gave it a try,” said Bindes.

She already knew and liked the environment at the store, so she excelled in her new position. During that time, Bindes also began attending school to pursue a psychology and substance abuse counseling degree.

After a year in her retail position, yet another opportunity arose: she was asked if she wanted to step up into the role of an employment counselor.

“I said yes, ‘absolutely!’ The work would align perfectly with what I was studying in school, so it was the perfect opportunity,” shared Bindes.

As an employment counselor, Bindes meets with clients who are looking for a job but need a little extra help and guidance. Some may lack basic computer skills, or need assistance building a resume and interviewing skills. Goodwill even offers digital skills training for people who need basic to advanced training, even up to earning Google IT certificates.

“We provide training where they need and we offer assistance like bus passes or clothing if they need. Watching clients succeed is the greatest part of my job!” mentioned Bindes.

Clients can find jobs within the community, or even are able to apply within Goodwill Hawaii if their skills and interests apply. Goodwill Hawaii is currently looking for more motivated employment counselors, like Bindes, as well as program coordinators and support staff, retail sales associates and supervisors.

“We’re looking for people who are reliable and always willing to learn, with a passion for helping people,” emphasized Kelley Cho, director of public relations and communications.

“My experience here at Goodwill has been wonderful,” noted Bindes. “Everyone is very supportive and there’s so much room for growth within the company. Goodwill has provided a strong foundation for me and my future and allowed me to develop new skills, experience new situations and learn a lot about culture and diversity.”

Contact Patrick Klein at pklein@staradvertiser.com if you desire to have your company featured in this section.

THE 411

COMPANY: Goodwill Hawaii

LOCATION: Corporate headquarters 2610 Kilihau St. (plus multiple stores, donation centers and program locations across the state)

PHONE: 836-0313

WEBSITE: higoodwill.org

EMPLOYEES: 500-plus

BENEFITS: Medical, dental, vision plan, paid leave, 401(k) retirement plan, employee discount, professional development opportunities, digital skills training

NOTEWORTHY: Goodwill Hawaii will be hosting hiring fairs at several of its retail locations starting Monday, April 8 at the Kaimuki Store and Donation Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be on-the-spot interviews and those interested should bring their resumes and two types of identification. For dates and locations of more hiring fairs taking place throughout April, visit higoodwill.org/jobs or call 836-0313.