June 7, 2017 5:05pm
INVESTOR SPOTLIGHT: Goodwill Industries of Kentucky
Founded In: 1923
By: Reverend John L. Fort
Number of Employees: 1,250
Describe what your organization does in two sentences.
Goodwill Industries of Kentucky connects Kentuckians with opportunities to obtain and maintain employment. Our goal is to help people who have disabilities or other challenges improve their lives and ultimately leave poverty through the power of work.
Who do you serve?
Goodwill serves Kentuckians who have difficulties finding and maintaining employment, including those with disabilities or other challenges such as minimal work experience, history of unemployment, criminal background, or limited education.
One fact you may not know about my organization is…
Through the reuse and recycling of donated items, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky diverts about 50 million pounds from landfills annually.
What sets your business apart from others in the way you attract and retain talent?
We have a wide variety of positions, from entry level to professional and executive. Goodwill promotes from within and offers tuition reimbursement and training to help employees advance their careers, but also brings external candidates into the organization for specific skills and fresh perspectives. Because we are part of the national Goodwill network, we also have employees who come to us from other Goodwills outside Kentucky. Our employees must be passionate about Goodwill’s mission.
What do you like about being an investor in Greater Louisville Inc.?
Goodwill, as a mid-sized nonprofit business, experiences similar issues to any other Kentucky business that employs significant numbers of people. GLI has many resources that we use in addressing these issues. Further, GLI can help facilitate collaboration with area businesses and employers, expanding Goodwill’s network and ability to connect job seekers with opportunities that will give them a chance to show what they can do.
How does your organization engage in the community?
Some of our most valuable relationships are with employers that are willing to give our program participants a chance to earn a paycheck. Last year, we partnered with nearly 700 employers to place Kentuckians into jobs. We also partner with KentuckianaWorks, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, the justice system, and many other organizations to help eager job seekers prepare for and achieve meaningful opportunities to work.
How can people engage with your organization?
The easiest way to support our mission is to continue bringing us your previously-loved items. We literally turn your old jeans into jobs, whether we’re helping someone create a résumé for Louisville,KY the first time, preparing them for a job interview, placing them at one of our stores to build their skills, or landing them a position with a partnering employer. We encourage people to learn more about what’s happening at Goodwill by visiting our website and social media channels. Despite more than one million interactions in our donation drive-thrus each year – and even more shopper transactions – we still have work to do to educate Kentuckians about our mission.