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.

John - "My Confidence is Much Better."

John Success Story

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.”

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Rebecca - I've Always Wanted to Go to College

Rebecca Success Story

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 Success Story

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?”

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Robert - Learning Valuable Life Skills at Goodwill

Robert Success StoryGreeting and assisting donors is one of Robert’s favorite things to do at Goodwill’s new store and donation center in Montgomeryville (Montgomery County). Robert came to Goodwill in 2014 with a desire to learn a variety of job skills. 

Goodwill Employment Specialist Linda Bricker said, “I began working with him at our location in Warminster. He was very shy at first but he was a hard worker. As he started to work at the donation center door, Robert gained confidence. Robert is sort of the strong, silent type which can mask how hard he works.” 

When Goodwill was preparing to open a new store, donation center, and mission services office in Montgomeryville, Robert transferred in June to help get the donation center up and running. Robert’s supervisor Steve Maxein said, “Robert is one of our best workers. I can count on him to do his job well in every aspect. He is dependable and responsible and a pleasure to have on our crew.” 

Linda added, “He continues to develop multitasking skills and managing donations as they come through the door.” Linda meets with Robert once a month, but she noted, “The new Montgomeryville facility has mission services offices, so if he needs anything, I’m right here.”


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Robert - Taking Initiative

Robert Success StoryIn 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.

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Kayla - Learning job skills to succeed.

Kayla Success StoryGoodwill’s Summer Work Experience and Assessment Program (SWEAP) has provided many young adults, between the ages of 16 and 21, with their first paycheck. The program, which was conducted in Berks, Dauphin, Cumberland and Lancaster counties placed participants in employment to learn basic job skills while earning a paycheck. 

Participants in SWEAP received paid job training at Goodwill Stores and Donation Centers, GIANT Food Stores, and other businesses. They worked 20 hours a week for seven weeks. Youths were supervised by a Goodwill job coach at all locations.

Over the 2014 summer, Kayla participated in SWEAP and received paid job training at GIANT. Kayla’s group learned a variety of jobs and tasks at GIANT. “My favorite part of the job was helping out in the produce department. I enjoy husking corn,” described Kayla. She also received her first paycheck this summer, “I saved half of my paycheck, but also bought something fun with the other half.”  

“As part of our promise to be a better place to work, we are committed to helping people learn the necessary job skills that will help them to advance and be successful. We are honored to partner with Goodwill and to also employ many associates who started their career path through SWEAP.” - Chris Brand, public and community relations manager for GIANT Food Stores.

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