Connecting job seekers with job providers through a myriad of programs and services is the goal of Goodwill of Central Florida. It is a mission that reaches far beyond what most people associate with its iconic brand.
The cornerstone of the organization is a simple promise: “Every 24 pounds of donations to Goodwill provides one person with services that can help them find meaningful work.” It is a simple formula that anyone can instantly understand: “Donations = jobs…and jobs change lives.”
Goodwill Industries was founded in 1902 in Boston by Rev. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister who collected used household goods and clothing, then trained and hired those who were poor to mend and repair them. The system worked and the Goodwill philosophy of “a hand up, not a hand out” was born. Helms’ vision set an early course for what today has become a $4 billion nonprofit organization. Through its 21st century initiative, it aims to improve the economic self-sufficiency of 20 million people and their families by 2020.
Goodwill Industries of Central Florida got started in 1959, and over 50 years later it sponsors numerous programs to help people find and keep well-paying jobs. Though its retail stores are scattered throughout Central Florida, it generates over $36 million in sales, which is returned to the community through various programs that help set the stage for success:
• Job Connection Centers – Assistance with applying and interviewing for jobs, including resume writing, computer training and career counseling.
• B.E.S.T Program – Training in topics such as business math, grammar, data entry, phone etiquette, receptionist skills and computer software.
• Homeless Services Network – Help with finding long-term work so participants can move to permanent housing.
• Contract Services – Providing outsourced labor and contract services to both commercial and govern-
• Goodworks Program & Job Connections – Resources to help inmates find jobs in various vocations.
• Direct Placement Services – Career counseling, training, job matching and coaching for people with disabilities.
Goodwill will is strategically positioned to fulfill their mission, “Building lives that work.”