Let’s start with an easy one, there’s no doubt that you know Goodwill as a string of retail stores, but did you know that among its many other services Goodwill of Southeastern Wisconsin also operates an industrial laundry facility? This isn’t some small laundromat or dry-cleaning place either, working with some of the largest hotels and hospitals in the Milwaukee area, Goodwill Laundry & Linen Services processes over 14 million pounds of linen annually. To put that number in perspective this is about 200 pounds a minute or more than 254,000 loads of laundry you could do at home! It comes as no surprise that in order to operate a laundry facility this large, we have a large staff consisting of over 120 individuals. But did you know that of those 120 employees, 53 are individuals who have a significant disability? To accomplish this Goodwill Laundry & Linen Services participates in the AbilityOne Program, which is the largest federal source of employment for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities.
You have probably seen the billboards, and even heard the commercials; “You donate. We train. People work.” Here in laundry we might not be working with donations like our retail stores, but when it comes to training and putting people to work this is not just a good tagline but a way of doing business. When a new employee starts with us through the AbilityOne Program they are provided one-on-one instruction as well as counseling, support and encouragement to help them get the skills they need to be successful.
As a business, this investment definitely doesn’t go unrewarded either, more than 32% of the employees working in laundry through the AbilityOne Program have been employed for five years or more. For our laundry team, this is not just a way for us to support the larger mission but a key reason behind what makes us so successful in what we do.
To learn more and to find out about current employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.