As we reflected on our accomplishments in 2016, it was a year of Serving Our Goodwill Family, the theme of this year’s Community Impact report.
Family is broader than only those members who are linked to us by birth. Our Goodwill family is that and more. It is the individuals we serve whose lives are changed as a result of our everyday work. It is our employees who provide those services, and have a calling to help others and make a difference. The Goodwill family is also the parents, children, neighbors, relatives and friends of the individuals we serve and employ. The nature of our work is life-affirming and often life-changing, with far-reaching positive impacts that go beyond the individuals receiving or providing services. Being part of the Goodwill family connects us all.
2016 was a year of partnerships, growth, and an investment in initiatives that are transforming the way we work together. We joined the Disabilities Workforce Collaborative, which is a group of agencies serving people with disabilities, creating “one voice” when it comes to increasing their participation in the workforce. Our partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools continues to grow, as we look for innovative ways to not only meet their recruiting and staffing needs, but also to give students exposure to career opportunities.
We partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee for a summer internship program to provide real-world work experience for young adults while in high school. And for Christine, one of the individuals profiled in this report, that internship led to employment at a Goodwill Store & Donation Center. The Donald Driver Mentoring Program, an opportunity for professionals in the community to volunteer to be mentors and use their own work and life experiences to help individuals that Goodwill employs reach their full potential, is gaining momentum. Delaney, a mentee in the program and cook at Goodwill Great Lakes, also featured in this report, has a remarkable story of strength and perseverance.
We opened up four new Goodwill Store & Donation Centers in Evanston and Skokie in Illinois and in Oak Creek and West Milwaukee in Wisconsin, plus relocated our West Allis location. With electronic waste a growing issue for many companies, we also started Goodwill E-Cycle, a secure electronics recycling business that refurbishes or disposes of electronics in an environmentally safe manner. With the retail industry changing and E-commerce’s exponential growth, it became apparent that Goodwill needed to enter that market space, so we began selling books and jewelry online and are seeing incredible potential so far in that operation.
In 2016 we also invested in our own employees as we intentionally focused on our culture and how we work together when we launched our new Guiding Principles—Inspired by People, Power of the Whole and Results Matter. We call this The Goodwill Way. These principles will define and enhance our culture moving forward. Positive changes are already taking place across the organization as we embed the Guiding Principles into everything we do.
We are grateful to the leadership of our Board of Directors, the dedication of our staff, and the support of many businesses, community leaders, foundations and government agencies—all part of our Goodwill family—that enabled us to serve nearly 65,000 men and women in 2016.
Chairman of the Board
President and CEO