Goodwill held an open house to showcase its Workplace Training and Assistance Center at its Leesville location.

The event, on Wednesday, had food and beverages available for attendees interested in learning more about the services available at Goodwill.

The program provides one-on-one help with job searching, education, resume writing and job retention services, among others. To assist in achieving these goals, computers, fax machines, and phones are located in an area in the back of the store.

"[People] can do online job searches, homework, or apply for benefits, such as food stamps and welfare," said Gretta Willis, Director of Mission Services.

Sharia Ashley, Workplace Development Specialist, can assist individuals in their endeavors, or they can do those things on their own, said Willis. "Anything they need to do to get ahead, they can do here."

Additionally, the Workplace Training and Assistance Center acts as a transitional work program. It's designed for people who have never worked before, or have not worked since the onset of a disability or other change in life, which made it difficult to go to work, said Willis.

The center has actually been open for over a year, but hosted the open house to remind community members of the benefits of the center.

"It's just trying to refresh it with the community and letting them know that we are here," Ashley said. "They have no idea that it's here. We just wanted to get it out it the community to let them know we're here. I plan on doing some more outreach and community service events to show the name and face."

Goodwill has Workplace and Training Centers throughout southeast Texas and Louisiana that offer the services. 

Ashley would like Goodwill to be seen as more than just a retail store. The money that comes from the retail sales funds the Workplace Center and outreach into the community.