Give Yourself a Boost: Meet Clair

Clair - Knoxville Job Training at Goodwill

19-year-old Clair McCain has big ambitions and a huge spirit. Her dream is to open a bakery by the time she turns 30, and she’s well on her way to making that dream a reality.

When Clair first arrived at Goodwill, she was shy. She was part of Goodwill’s School to Work program, which prepares high school students to transition into the workforce after graduating. “She developed into an articulate individual who was ready for employment,” said Goodwill’s Workforce Development Specialist Amy O’Donnell. “Outside of being a good worker, she really grew into her self-confidence during the program.”

Clair agrees. During her time at Goodwill, she learned what it means to be dedicated to her work, how to work with others and how to stay on task. “Until you get a job, you just think it’s easy,” Clair said. “It mentally prepares you.”

After graduating from Goodwill’s training programs, Clair continued her education at the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (TRC), where she received training specific to the food service industry. She was so excited to learn and dedicated to her program that she was selected as the keynote speaker for her graduation.

When Clair returned to Goodwill, she was ready to work. She worked with Amy to prepare her resume, highlighting her work experience from her time at Goodwill and her recent certification. The pair found a job that worked perfectly for Clair, cooking at the Marriott in downtown Knoxville. “I love it,” said Clair, who is now saving to purchase a car and rent an apartment. “It would mean a lot to live on my own. I would be able to help my parents out, but also it would show them my independence.”

As Clair’s 20th birthday quickly approaches, she has a big career in front of her. We can't wait to see where her career goes!

Do you want to move your career forward? Goodwill has free certification programs to help you get on the right track!

If you’re age 16-24, check out the Back on Track program, which provides funding for further education, childcare, transportation, paid work experience and more.

If you qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, consider signing up for Goodwill’s Customer Service Training program so you can receive industry-recognized certifications in food and beverage, hospitality and tourism or retail fields.