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Goodwill Industries, Calumet Work Center - Relates this story of a gentleman who lived his entire life in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  He grew up on a family farm and had to drop out of school before high school to assist his family.  He later married and had three children.  Despite his limited education he was successful in his job as a laborer for over 40 years, but due to heavy lifting on a daily basis he suffered a severe injury.  After several surgeries and physical therapy it was determined that the injury was too severe to allow him to return to his job.

He was referred to Goodwill Industries Workforce Development Program (WFD) for Vocational Training in hopes he could learn a new skill set that would make him employable.  He arrived every day with enthusiasm to work and continued to arrive each day month after month receiving this unpaid training, but treating it as a job showing how strong his work ethic was.  Unfortunately it became clear the due to the severity of his injury that he was unemployable in a competitive job in the community.  Now he needed to settle his claim with workers compensation as he could not return to his previous employment. The morning before the workers compensation settlement hearing his wife of more than 40 years passed away.  With support from WFD he was finally able to settle his workers compensation claim.  If it hadn’t been for funding from the Copper Country United Way, his work here would have ended.  WFD was able to provide him with support during his most difficult times in his life.

He now continues with paid Vocational Training at the Goodwill Industries, Calumet Work Center and is as dependable as the first day he walked through our doors.

Funding from the Copper Country United Way has enabled WFD to continue to provide him the support that gives him a purpose, and he serves as an example to others just what the power of work can do.

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