Job & Resource Information Available On-the-Go!
By Robyn Claridge
Goodwill Fort Worth has provided job training and support services to more than 4,000 individuals so far this year. While many of the training and support services are provided in a traditional, face-to-face manner, a need for flexibility to accommodate and communicate with Goodwill program participants and employees with schedules that are busy and/or do not fit the traditional 8-5 office hours is vital to long-term success. In the age of technology and smart phones, flexible communication efforts via mobile applications and text messaging may be key to reaching individuals more efficiently and effectively.
According to the Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans own a smartphone. While most smartphone usage is still primarily adopted by younger adults age 18-29 (92% usage), there has been a significant increase in the number of older adults age 50-64 (74%), age 65 and older (42%), and lower-income adults (64%) now owning a smartphone, signifying that smartphone usage and the ability to easily and readily access information “on-the-go” is important to a growing number of individuals. When it comes to reaching individuals from a business and organizational standpoint, the statistics are just as astonishing. According to a nationwide survey conducted by Flowroute, Inc. (2016), respondents stated that they read 82% of text messages received from businesses within five minutes of receipt, and 58% indicated that they would view a business or organization more positively if they offered SMS and texting capabilities.
In 2019, Goodwill Fort Worth acknowledged these statistics, in addition to input from our clientele, and adopted a mobile and text application – designed to accommodate the needs of individuals who are in need of information instantaneously and “on-the-go.” The mobile app itself has been designed to include information on Goodwill’s programs and services, as well as supplemental services and resources within the community to include, but not limited to: homeless shelters, food banks, transportation support, and utilities assistance. Additionally, the app is regularly updated to be a supplemental tool for job-seekers within the community, and includes information on local job fairs and hiring events held regularly throughout the year at our six Job Resource Centers in Fort Worth, Arlington, Denton, Hurst and Weatherford, as well as direct links to job search boards, and virtual job searching tools and videos on job networking and interview skills, and building resumes and cover letters. Beyond the mobile app, Goodwill program participants and employees are able to “opt –in” to receiving text message updates, which poses a convenient option for anybody who may not readily have access to a smartphone and/or mobile internet connection. Additionally, by opting in to text messages, there’s no more hassle or worry about making a phone call and being on hold for 10 minutes, having a call get dropped, or receiving important emails that are overlooked. The text message option allows for a faster, more efficient way to receive information and tools at the tip of your finger!
Opting-in to text messages and utilizing the mobile app is simple and takes just a matter of seconds! Goodwill program participants and job-seekers may opt-in and utilize the mobile and texting app at any time. Participants may opt-in themselves by texting GWFW to the phone number 56512. Goodwill staff is also available at each of our Job Resource Centers to answer any questions regarding the mobile/texting app, or to provide assistance with opting in.