Career Development Program Mission

The mission of the Career Development Program is to provide opportunities for job seekers and individuals with barriers to obtaining and retaining employment.

We work with our participants’ strengths and abilities to help them achieve their greatest potential. We do this by providing paid work experience, employability skills training, and other supportive services.

Sean Smith with Goodwill Career Development Program

Sean Smith

CDP Program Manager

Pedro Delgado

Pedro Delgado

Career Development Specialist

Haley Raffanti

Haley Raffanti

Career Development Specialist

Anyone who is hired at Goodwill of Silicon Valley (18+) into a minimum wage position comes in through the Career Development Program (CDP). The CDP is a six month paid work experience program that assists in the professional and personal growth of its participants. During this time participants are paired with a Career Development Specialist and receive one-on-one support while they navigate and work towards their individual career goals. The specialist will help brainstorm strategies and give advice for the advancement of participants’ objectives. Whether you have an idea of where you want to go or need more information on how to get started; your specialist will direct you to the proper sources and provide encouragement so you can stay motivated.

Career Development Program Specialist Help:

If there are barriers to succeeding at work or hindering goals the CDP Specialist will connect participants to career counseling, discounted VTA bus pass, and various resources to try and find a solution to the problem. We don’t want any obstacles to get in the way of your objectives or discouraging growth. Many resources are available in the community but they might not be well known. That’s where connecting with your specialist and having a conversation about where they can help would open a lot of doors. Because we want to support you overcoming any obstacles in the way of your success at work. If you’re having difficulty securing food at home a specialist will provide you with a list of pantries to connect with. Or possibly you aren’t sure where to start your journey for a specific career path, the specialist will give advice on where to go and who to talk to.


A cornerstone of our program is the Steps To Economic and Personal Success (STEPS) workshop. These are guided sessions that help participants recognize the value of mindfulness and how to break negative habits holding back their growth. As busy as work can make our lives it’s important to learn how to channel a positive outlook to process that stress. These classes remind us that all of our responsibilities serve a purpose to move us forward in life. With this in mind work and obligations becomes less of a ‘have to’ and more of a ‘want to’. Another way the CDP equips participants with the tools to help overcome self-doubt and break out of comfort zones with positive affirmations and self-care.

Work Retention:

During the six months, the goal of the Career Development Program is to prepare our participants for work retention and career advancement. Once the 6 month work experience is completed they will be placed on ‘work retention’ where a participant is still in the CDP program and their Goodwill role but is at a stable place and doesn’t require as much intervention/support. Even if you find a position outside our organization, before or after the completion of the work experience, we encourage you to follow what is best for you. You will be put into retention where you will have the choice to stay with the CDP but not Goodwill and receive support from your assigned specialist. Because we want to equip participants with all the tools possible to build a stable career inside or outside of Goodwill and support the individuals’ professional goals . Whichever path you choose, we will guide you through the process and help you feel confident during your time at Goodwill of Silicon Valley.Whether your goal is to get started working again, looking to move up within our company or externally, or even looking to improve your existing skills? We are here to help. Please use the following link to apply for available CDP positions within Goodwill of Silicon Valley.

The Career Development Program is a division of Goodwill of Silicon Valley – All Rights Reserved – 2022