Goodwill Keystone Area President & CEO John McHenry Honored with Prestigious United Way Award

During United Way of the Capital Region’s (UWCR) Annual Meeting, Goodwill Keystone Area President and CEO John McHenry was presented with the 2019 Joseph M. Capita Spirit of the Capital Region Award for his nearly five decades of work supporting and leading Goodwill’s worthy mission.

The Spirit of the Capital Region Award is named after longtime UWCR President and CEO Joseph Capita. The award recognizes an exceptional community partner for their measurable impact in the areas of health and education, and efforts in addressing basic needs.

“This is a wonderful honor, and so meaningful to me since I’ve known Joe Capita for many years,” John said. “While I am proud of this recognition, it would not have been possible without the wonderful staff, volunteers and business partners I have had the privilege of working alongside for nearly 47 years.”

John began his Goodwill career in 1972 as a truck driver. In this role John was assigned a truck helper, Harry, from Harrisburg State Hospital. This was John’s first real exposure to someone with a disability, and it helped him better understand the needs of people with disabilities.

John was promoted to production manager and then became director of Special Services. Recognizing the importance of work in an individual’s life, John launched the organization’s first-ever program that enabled Goodwill clients to receive work experience at a local business.

John arranged the contract for Goodwill clients to clean and refurbish equipment at the company worksite. This approach to integrate people with severe disabilities in the workplace was one of the first-of-its-kind in Pennsylvania. Through these efforts, John became a subject-matter expert across the state and nationally for Industry Integrated Rehabilitation Programs.

John’s foresight helped the organization launch numerous programs throughout Goodwill Keystone Area’s footprint. From preparing individuals for work, job-search services, ongoing soft-skills training and job support, to internships as well as custodial services and short-term labor fulfillment, John’s fingerprints can be seen in the various services Goodwill offers.

One such program was “Good Careers Start Here.” This program provided individuals employed by Goodwill in entry level jobs and their immediate family members the opportunity to earn a credential in a high demand, high paying occupation with the support of a Career Navigator. John believed that elevating one family member out of the cycle of poverty not only created financial stability but would impact the health and wellness of the entire family.

John also served in positions where he led Goodwill’s marketing and development efforts. Here he helped formulate the branding of Goodwill Keystone Area after the merger of the Harrisburg, Lancaster and Reading Goodwill organizations and launch successful fundraising efforts. Most recently, John had a hand in helping Goodwill Keystone Area receive certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry for the first-in-the-state Warehouse and Logistics Technician Apprenticeship program.

John’s success and experience working in key operational roles led to him being named to his current position as president and CEO. In each of the roles John has held, he has been driven by the belief that work is the fundamental building block of community. As he has so often said, “Work does something beyond a paycheck. Employment provides economic independence, as well as the secondary gains of preventing and minimizing other social problems. Here at Goodwill, we believe in giving a hand up, not a hand out.”

Without question, John has had a big hand in lifting up thousands of people in our community through the power of work.

Congratulations, John, on a well-deserved honor!