A community where the talents and value of all people are celebrated.
To support persons with disabilities and other barriers to independence in achieving their fullest potential as workers and as members of the broader community.
Goodwill helps persons with disabilities as well as people who are at an economic disadvantage, or may lack education or work experience.
Trevor – "It's nice to be part of a team."
As Trevor bustles through the halls of the Dauphin County Courthouse, he is smiling, yet focused. He realizes that people are counting on him. Trevor started working as an intern at the courthouse through Project SEARCH. In September 2016, Trevor was hired as an employee.
Dauphin County Clerk of Courts Dale Klein said, “It’s not easy finding qualified candidates and Trevor is a hard, motivated worker.” Dale added, “He’s learning to docket and helps with filing and communications, whatever is needed.’’ Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III said, “With various departments and many different kinds of jobs, we realized the county could provide excellent, real-world internship opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities.’’
For Trevor, he likes being part of a team. He said, “It’s nice to be needed. I like that people depend on me. I always wanted to work in an office.”
Andri – Success through Hard Work
Success through Hard Work
“Everyone has to start somewhere,” said Andri.
Andri, a high school senior, has a great sense of understanding that entry-level work is a starting point and a stepping stone to something bigger and better. He said, “I plan to have other jobs, but I need to start here and work my way up through life because that’s what you do.”
Over the 2016 summer, Andri took part in the Goodwill Summer Work Experience & Assessment, also known as SWEAP. This program gives teens and young adults with disabilities, between the ages of 16 and 21, the opportunity to gain real-world work experience and earn their first paychecks. 107 participants received paid job training at Reading High School, Goodwill Stores and Donation Centers and other local businesses.
Through SWEAP, Andri, who is deaf, worked at Reading High School. Along with his job coach and other SWEAP participants, he completed a variety of tasks like painting, fixing desks and chairs and detail cleaning.
His job coach Robin Shingle said, “Andri was able to help his work group come together. Andri knows English, Spanish and sign language. He translated or interpreted for others and it helped everyone gel together.”
Rebecca - I've Always Wanted to Go to College
As Rebecca sat at a desk with her laptop and books, she said, “I’ve always wanted to go to college…just like my sisters. It’s always been a dream of mine.” Her dream is coming true as she is taking classes at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), Lancaster Campus, and working at the college bookstore. She is proud to display her student ID card. She said, “I like being with other people who want to learn. It’s a great adventure.”
Rebecca came to Goodwill seeking help to become more independent. After an assessment, she participated in several Goodwill paid work training programs, but her sights were always on education. Rebecca noted, “I knew I had potential.” In 2012, she earned her GED.
When the time came, Goodwill Employment Specialist Linda Speldos helped Rebecca transition to a new chapter at HACC. Linda said, “Rebecca has made great progress. She has worked through anxiety and other challenges and has become more confident in her abilities.” Linda continues to help Rebecca with time management and gives her an occasional pep talk.
Rebecca is an aspiring writer and a self-proclaimed bookworm. With her new found confidence, she recently wrote and gave a speech at a conference. She ended it by saying, “Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could look into each and every one of us and see uniqueness?”
John - "My Confidence is Much Better."
John is an example of a person overcoming life challenges through work. Prior to coming to Goodwill®, John worked at a shipping company and had a life set-back. Unfortunately, it took him out of the workforce. As he was getting back on his feet, he entered a Goodwill job training program that helped him manage the demands of work. The program gave John the opportunity to practice how to communicate, socialize, and cope in the work environment.
John’s supervisor, Russ Negley, said, “In the beginning, John struggled with confidence. He questioned his own job performance, and at times he became frustrated while learning new tasks.” As the staff worked with him, John began to pick up the job and improve.
When a part-time employee position became available with the Goodwill Custodial Crew at PennDOT, John applied and got the job. John said, “Goodwill has been a positive experience - everyone is encouraging. My confidence is much better. I used to be a very shy kid, but now I’m not.”
John made advances in his personal development. Last year, John entered the Good Careers Start Here program, which offers assistance to people who would like to further their education. This year, John took a class at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC).
In June 2015, John received the UniqueSource Nettie Mann Award for recognition of his exceptional accomplishments, work ethic, and character. He said, “I’m honored. I got my award for my hard work. And, I’m going back to school so I can get a really good job.”
Robert - Taking Initiative
In his last year of high school, Robert was involved with a school-to-work transition program called Project SEARCH. The goal for each student participant is competitive employment. The program provides real-life work experience combined with training in employability and independent living skills to help youths with challenges make successful transitions from school to productive adult life. The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation, and Goodwill® collaborate to make Project SEARCH a success in the Lehigh Valley.
While participating in Project SEARCH, a position opened up on the Goodwill Business Services contract at Kraft Heinz and Robert wanted to give it a try. A Goodwill job coach participated in the training with Robert to ensure that he was learning the tasks and gaining the job and social skills that he needed to thrive. After completing a successful orientation, Robert became a member of the Goodwill Recycling Team at the Kraft Heinz plant in the Lehigh Valley.
Five years later, Robert is still going strong as a recycler. He works on the Recycling Team with 10 other people. He, along with his crew members, collect all recyclable materials throughout the plant and place the various items, like cardboard, plastic, glass, and cans, in large balers.
Sarah Boyer, Goodwill’s Production Manager who continues to guide Robert, said, “His focus and concentration has really improved. Robert picks up new job tasks much easier now and he takes initiative on things that he sees that need to be done.”
Goodwill Business Services offers document shredding, custodial, bulk mailing, laser cartridge remanufacturing, and packaging and assembly to businesses and government in 22 Pennsylvania counties. Proceeds from Goodwill Business Services support the mission of Goodwill by funding job training and work programs. They also provide jobs for persons with disabilities and other barriers to independence.