DENVER -- One year ago Zeyad Ascheckli came to Colorado from Iraq hoping for a new start for his family. But he left behind his sales job and found he needed new skills to start a new career.
A group that helps refugees referred him to Goodwill Denver. The non-profit just launched a program this fall training people to work in banks. Zeyad was one of 19 students in the first "Bankwork$" class.
"Most of us, we have cash handling experience; we have sales experience. We have a lot of experience that we were already prepared to be a banker," said Zeyad.
He and his fellow students spent eight weeks learning specific skills, like money handling and customer service. Thirteen students from the first Bankwork$ class already have jobs. Zeyad was hired at Academy Bank.
"They actually go through a very rigorous interview process," said Nate Boylan, national sales and service manager at Academy Bank.
Bankwork$ is just one way that Goodwill Denver is putting people to work. Goodwill's mission is centered around the power of work, and getting people back to work. The non-profit also runs career connections centers in some of its stores and offers mentor programs in schools.
Goodwill PR and media specialist Jessica Hudgins says Goowill relies on donations to fund these programs.
"Ninty-two percent of every dollar we make in our stores goes back to our program, but every time you make a financial donation to Goodwill, 100 percent of that goes to our programs," says Hudgins.
Hudgins hopes people will make financial donations to Goodwill for Colorado Gives Day. Goodwill supports 27,000 people in Colorado.