Q&A with Arvin Goldberg

Q&A with Arvin Goldberg

/BY BRENDA FISKE/ //SPECIAL FOR THE AJT// Arvin Goldberg the Director of its Career Services – Tools for Employment division

In a remarkable break of good fortune, the nonprofit world has landed a new gem as JF&CS brings on Arvin Goldberg as the Director of its Career Services – Tools for Employment division. His resume speaks for itself.

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Goldberg began his professional career through a buyer training pro- gram in the world of retail. Jewelcor, his first employer (a catalogue retail enterprise) led him into Atlanta-based Ellman’s Jewelers, then to the famous Rich’s department store eventually as a divisional merchandise manager.

He then was recruited to join Silo Inc., after which he jumped into the cellular business with McCaw Cellular, which became AT&T Wireless. He started off in marketing before moving into consumer sales. Goldberg played a key role in the influence of AT&T’s entry into the retail store business.

Next he served as the chief business operations officer for Radio Shack and then moved to Nextel, which became Sprint/Nextel, as vice president of supply chain operations. He moved his skills for building sup- ply chains in the pharmaceutical industry and finally went to Ernst & Young with these same skills.

Goldberg’s consulting experience gave him the opportunity to work with young MBA graduates where he enjoyed the training and coaching of fresh talent. This role included the recruitment of college graduates, al- lowing him to find new inspiration in this area.

His extensive and diverse experience provides a solid foundation for evaluating skill sets in a variety of industries.

As he contemplated retirement, he realized he truly enjoyed helping people find employment and develop career paths. He volunteered for Junior Achievement in Atlanta, working with high school students who were not pursuing a college education, and recognized that these young people required coaching in order to find any kind of meaningful employment.

JF&CS found his skills, professional expertise and compassion for the human potential to be an ideal foundation to lead Tools for Employment.

Under his leadership, a new vision for
the division is emerging. Recently Brenda
Fiske, JF&CS’ chief
marketing officer, sat
down with Goldberg
to ask him a few questions about his journey and his plans for the future of his division.

Brenda Fiske: Why did you come back to work?

Arvin Goldberg: I was treated extremely well in my career and mentored by people who cared about me. This is an opportunity to help people who are not as lucky as I was, to help them with their own personal challenges. Some people call it giving back. It is just the way I was brought up.

BF: How would you describe your contribution in this nonprofit environment?

AG: My most important contribution to this process at this moment involves my approach to develop the same kind of operating structure and plan that I have used in my professional career while remaining sensitive about the modifications required to fit into the nonprofit world.

BF: How is nonprofit different from the “for-profit” world?

AG: There is a cultural difference between for- and nonprofit. We are dealing with real human beings…. one on one with people as our mission.

Corporate with good, healthy cultures are sensitive to their own people, shareholders’ values, stock prices, etc. We are focused on enhancing the self-sufficiency of our clients. We are here to improve a way of life, of walking in the world.

BF: You are passionate about coaching and guiding people. Do you have any ‘lessons learned’ from your own experience you would like to share?

AG: I do!

  1. Do not shy away from challenges.
  2. You do not want to pursue your career objectives at the expense of hurting someone else.
  3. Everything you do is a result of how well you were supported by the people around you—either your superiors or the people on your team.
  4. Come to terms early with the fact that you do not have all of the answers. No one expects you to. You just need to know how to find them.
  5. Consistently evaluate your own skill sets and recognize your weaknesses, find ways to im- prove and seek input from others on how you can be better.

BF: And finally, is there anything you have learned from your experience thus far at JF&CS? If so, has it had any impact on Tools for Employment’s operations?

AG: I am starting to realize the difference between clients and candidates. Anyone who comes to us for help with his or her career is a client.

Our goal is to convert clients into job-ready candidates. We professionally assess where someone is in his or her career timeline, and this helps us understand what it will take to help that individual.

This may involve career counseling, hands-on workshops and various forms of assessments. Trying to help individuals focus, obtain higher levels of confidence, give them hope and develop plans they can follow. I believe people are either victims or beneficiaries of their own beliefs. If they feel like victims, we are here to help them through that.

For more information about Career Services – Tools for Employment, please call  770.677.9358 or visit www.YTFL.org/careers.



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