Five Goodwill(R) Agencies Recognized for Strengthening Families

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Goodwill Industries(R) and Annie E. Casey Foundation Mark 10 Years of Family Strengthening with Center of Excellence Awards

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To be successful at work, everyone needs to be confident that their families are healthy and safe and that their home life is stable.

Five Goodwill agencies that take a comprehensive, family-inclusive approach to economic self-sufficiency are recipients of the 2011 Goodwill Family Strengthening Center of Excellence Awards, an annual recognition program sponsored by Goodwill Industries International and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

“To be successful at work, everyone needs to be confident that their families are healthy and safe and that their home life is stable,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “We are proud to be a family strengthening organization and congratulate these centers of excellence for successfully addressing the unique needs of families.”

Goodwill agencies in Eugene, OR; Greenville, SC; North Fort Meyers, FL; San Antonio, TX; and Winston-Salem, NC, all demonstrate a leadership commitment to family strengthening throughout their organizations, and focus resources on programs that support families with financial education, job training and economic self-sufficiency. The philosophy is that families must thrive in order for their members to succeed at work.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Goodwill’s family strengthening awards. Since 2001, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has granted more than $1.4 million to stimulate the family strengthening and financial-stability work at a total of 41 community-based Goodwill agencies.

Goodwill Industries of Lane and South Coast Counties (Eugene, OR) helps people work toward fiscal stability by improving labor prospects and facilitating financial asset development through its prosperity center program. The agency has also established a best-in-class benefits program, including paying 75 percent of costs for employees seeking educational degrees; consecutive days off; and 85 percent payment of health insurance costs. The Eugene Goodwill also communicates with and seeks input from its employees through monthly in-person meetings and performance reports. Its agency is also recruiting a human resources and workforce development director, who will be charged with implementing employee training so employees can gain career advancement skills.

Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina (Greenville) instructs employees on leadership skills and corporate training through its Junior Leader program. Fifty-five percent of participants have advanced into management positions to date. The Goodwill also provides access to The Benefit Bank, an in-house service that allows individuals to sign up for many state and federal benefits, streamlining the application process. The Goodwill uses the Talent Pipeline model to help employees actively build the skill sets necessary to accomplish personal and business goals. In addition, the agency has adopted a 100 percent electronic payroll system, which requires every employee and client to be educated on and enrolled in a direct deposit system. The Goodwill has co-located many of its career development centers in its retail and outlet stores, bringing job assistance to Goodwill shoppers.

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida (North Fort Myers) formed a family strengthening team of senior managers and front-line staff, who are charged with surveying the staff and making recommendations for family strengthening initiatives. Based on this work, the Goodwill determined its two main priorities are financial planning and child care. The Goodwill also runs or participates in nine family resource centers, which co-locate a number of human service agencies to provide “one-stop shops” for Goodwill employees and program participants. It also operates the Goodwill L.I.F.E. Academy Charter School, which serves students with severe developmental disabilities ranging in age from 11 to 22. The school aims for 100 percent of graduates to obtain a job or post-secondary education upon graduation. In addition, the Goodwill offers family strengthening employee benefits, including a sick leave pool, emergency funds assistance program and a SunTrust financial education program that provides asset management skills.

Goodwill Industries of San Antonio (TX) partnered with a federal credit union, which is co-located at two Goodwill facilities, where credit union staff provide financial literacy education to employees. In addition, the Goodwill’s financial ambassadors program allows employees well-versed in credit union products to serve as front-line financial advocates for employees seeking assistance. Every employee must also enroll in a money management basics and building a better credit portfolio course as part of a core training seminar. The San Antonio Goodwill also provides health and wellness services such as free and low-cost immunizations, health screenings and health education classes. In addition, the agency launched the Good Careers Academy, a partnership with Alamo Community College, to offer eight certification programs, including certified nursing assistance and pharmacy technician skills, at an average tuition of $2,000.

Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina (Winston-Salem) offers programs for youth at risk for delinquency, including educational and vocational tracks, leadership development, mentoring services, and summer employment. The agency also launched two career connections and prosperity centers, offering vocational and financial literacy services, as well as an intake process that focuses on each employee’s goals and aspirations. The Goodwill uses a coaching for success and coaching for improvement model to spotlight and expand on employee strengths. This approach dovetails with an overhauled performance evaluation model, which disconnects the evaluation from automatic pay increases. In addition, the Goodwill partners with community colleges to provide certification training in areas such as computer, medical and skilled trades along with career training.

All five agencies will be honored in April 2012 during Goodwill’s annual spring conference, Washington, DC.

Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based, independent agencies in the United States and Canada with 14 affiliates in 13 other countries. Goodwill is one of the nation’s top five most valuable and recognized nonprofit brands as well as a leading social services enterprise (Source: Cone Nonprofit Power Brand 100, 2009). Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 2,600 stores and online at Local Goodwill agencies also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation and document imaging and shredding. In 2010, more than 2.4 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill channels 84 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services. To find your local Goodwill, use the online locator at or call (800) GOODWILL.

CONTACT: Lauren Lawson-Zilai
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5266

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