The (motivational) writing is on the wall in a room at Goodwill Commercial Services (GCS) in Indianapolis.

It bears inspiring inscriptions from graduates of New Beginnings, a six-month program that combines on-the-job experience and classroom training for ex-offenders.

“I put my quote up there on that wall (on graduation day in 2018),” forklift operator Greg Perry reveals during a BizVoice® visit. “It says, ‘It seems hard in the beginning, but in the end, it definitely is worth the effort you put into it. So stay positive.”

He joined New Beginnings, offered through Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana, shortly after his release from prison in September 2017. Today, he’s a full-time employee at GCS.

At age 42, Perry is embarking on a new life – one without the drugs and guns that plagued his past. In their place is self-confidence, pride and hope. He reveals his professional, philosophical and comical sides on a short tour of GCS. He’s passionate about Goodwill and grateful for the opportunity to make an impact.

“Working here now – I love it because I’m depended on,” he imparts. “I’m such a valuable asset to this company and I know it. The big guys have told me, ‘We need you and we appreciate everything you do for us.’ ”

The current issue of BizVoice has more about Perry, New Beginnings and other prisoner re-entry programs across the state.

Symone Skrzycki is the communications manager for the Indiana Chamber. She is also a writer for the Chamber’s award-winning BizVoice magazine and has been with the organization for 18 years.