For Immediate Release
October 1, 2012
Goodwill Works to Build a Strong and Inclusive Workforce
Goodwill Reinforces the Need to Include People with Disabilities in our Regional Workforce
Northern New England — More than 1,500 team members work at Goodwill Industries of Northern New England and have helped make Goodwill a thriving social enterprise, dedicated to helping people find jobs, earn paychecks and care for their families. Goodwill knows firsthand the benefits of having a diverse and inclusive workforce and believes that all people, including those with disabilities, need to be integrated into the workforce to make our economy stronger. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and Goodwill encourages the public and private sectors to strengthen their workforce by hiring qualified people with disabilities.
For more than 75 years, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England has helped people navigate the challenges they face to finding employment, including disabilities, lack of education or work experience, and other factors that make it difficult for someone to gain employment and build a career. Goodwill staff members work with people to develop their employment skills, including writing résumés, job interview practice, job search help, and more. In addition, Goodwill trains people to work in a variety of high-growth industries outside of Goodwill such as health care, construction, retail, financial services and many other industries.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, people with disabilities have a more than 13.9 percent unemployment rate, 60 percent higher than the unemployment rate of people without disabilities (8 percent as of September 2012). Goodwill stands with the U.S. Department of Labor and encourages companies and organizations to build more inclusive business cultures that value diversity and encourage leaders to recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified individuals with disabilities, which include youth, older workers and veterans. People with disabilities make up a dependable workforce with higher rates of employee dedication and retention.
Here are just two people in Maine who are successful in their careers through Goodwill’s help:
Donald Roberts has been working with Goodwill for over 30 years. Goodwill helped him find work with several employers, and according to Donald, “each employment move I made brought me more responsibility, financial gain and advanced the development of my employment skills.” Donald currently works at Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine. Thanks to the support of his manager and co-workers, Donald thrives at his job. Donald notes, “Whenever someone asks me about Goodwill, I can’t help but smile…the staff helps me and takes the time to understand my needs and hopes. Thank you, Goodwill!” Read Donald’s full story on Goodwill’s website.
Chandra Murphy has worked at the Goodwill store in Augusta for over twelve years. Before finding employment with Goodwill, Chandra lived at home with her mother. She was determined to find work and independence. Once she found a job with Goodwill, she was able to move into her own apartment. She loves working with customers in the store. Since she started working at Goodwill, Chandra sees “a better future for myself…I am independent and I love it.”
Here are just two people in New Hampshire who are successful in their careers through Goodwill’s help:
Loretta Falzarano has worked at the Portsmouth Goodwill store for the past seven years in the donations processing area, hanging pre-sorted clothing five days a week. Loretta was institutionalized at age three in the Laconia State School, where she lived for nearly three decades. In the past fourteen years, she has lived with a family in Greenland, NH. Her job suits her to a ‘T’, according to home provider Deb Melanson. “It’s great for Loretta because she loves routine. She enjoys the staff and her co-workers.
Today, she performs many tasks independently, while continuing to develop skills. She is currently learning how to arrange the clothing she hangs in groups of eighty. “All staff have production quotas,” explains Assistant Manager George Pappademas. “We hold employees to the standards and Loretta is no exception. She’s expected to excel.”
Kathleen Gauthier is a physical therapist by education and practice. In April of 2003, she was in a car accident that caused a brain injury. It left her in a coma and after brain surgery, she realized that her arm, hand and ankle didn’t work and her left leg was weak. This caused her to have poor balance, coordination and endurance, as well as inability to work by herself and difficulty taking care of her personal needs.
Due to her challenges, she was unable to return to her old job as a physical therapist. She started working with Goodwill Workforce Solutions, who was able to find a job for her in the activities department of a local senior living facility in Derry.
According to Kathleen, “I feel blessed to have found this position and look forward to every shift I work with the residents and staff. Thank you, Goodwill, for helping me find work to support myself.”
“Donald, Chandra, Loretta and Kathleen are just four of the many qualified people with disabilities that Goodwill has trained and helped to find work,” said Anne Roosevelt, president & CEO of Goodwill Industries of Northern New England. “Goodwill is ready to help businesses and organizations find productive employees with disabilities to strengthen our economy.”
To learn more about Goodwill’s career training and employment programs, visit www.goodwillnne.org
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Goodwill Industries of Northern New England provides community resources that eliminate barriers to opportunity and help people reach their fullest potential through the power of work. A social enterprise for over 100 years, Goodwill reflects economic, social and environmental sustainability, with a focus on connecting people to marketplace employment. Our services are funded by revenue from retail and recycling operations, grants, fees, and philanthropic gifts. Please visit www.goodwillnne.org for more information.
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