ANTIGO - Goodwill locations across the Northwoods just received a grant to help them pay local high school students with learning or physical disabilities to temporarily work in their stores.
Antigo store manager Erica Kostichka says the money will go back into the community.
"The funds we generate at the store go back into our community so this goes back into, you know, the high school students. They're able to come here, they're able to get a paycheck every 2 weeks. Its just an experience that not all communities have that opportunity," said Kostichka.
The donation will support the School-to-Work Program which provides training and work experience for high school students who may have barriers when trying to find a job.
Kostichka believes this program gives students a head start in joining the workforce.
"We really are wanting to, you know, remove barriers from and give those that, you know, might not have an opportunity somewhere else that opportunity to have that first job experience," said Kostichka.
She has seen the impact this program has on students throughout the school year.
"Just confidence as the year goes on. They're always a little nervous when they first come in but, you know, as things keep progressing they build that confidence and I think a lot of them need that," said Kostichka.
Michelle Arden, a teacher at the Antigo High School, participates in the program by training students on workforce etiquette.
They help foster skills that hopefully help students transition into new jobs.
"They get elements with interview skills, they get to �" we're in the classroom 2 days a week and we're on the floor 2 days a week working so we get all of the different elements that Goodwill is offering the students so now they'll take the job skills they learned in this program and venture into other jobs in the community," said Arden.
This is the tenth year of the program.
Teachers hope it continues to expand and provide hardworking employees.
"This will hopefully have a huge impact on our community because students then in turn will stay right here in antigo and they'll have qualified workers right within our own community," said Arden.