Whenever I tell someone that I work for Goodwill Industries they’ll either ask, what store, or tell me about how they shop or donate all the time. I always appreciate the opportunity to share more of the story with not only my friends, but customers that walk through our manufacturing facilities. As a Business Development Manager for Goodwill Manufacturing, it’s my responsibility to meet with manufacturers in the area and bring in packaging projects to one of our two facilities in Southeastern Wisconsin. My goal is to get these potential customers walking through the James O. Wright Center on the northwest side of Milwaukee or Enterprise facility in Sturtevant to see our mission first hand. Without a doubt, I will hear the following statement, “I didn’t know Goodwill did that, how cool.”
Recently I was taking a new customer on a tour of the James O. Wright Center or JOW as we call it. As I met him at the front door he commented on the wonderful smell coming from the cafeteria. Of course, that’s coming from our wonderful people in the Culinary Institute. We’re very lucky to be able to not only train people in the culinary arts, but partake in the food they’re trained to prepare. My customer was not only impressed by this idea, but jealous that we have it so good.
As we progressed down the hall on our way to the manufacturing floor, my guest noticed the doors to the laundry facility. “You do laundry here?” Of course, we do laundry here. Nearly 14 million pounds of laundry for many of the hospitals in the area, Naval Station Great Lakes and Potawatomi Hotel and Casino. They continue to grow and look for better ways to serve the community.
We made it out on to the manufacturing floor where we do many packaging and assembly projects for some large companies in the Milwaukee area. A lot of the parts we package here, you’ll see on the shelves at various stores throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Not only are we packaging things by hand, we also have various levels of automation. This is just our JOW facility. Our facility in Sturtevant does many display projects for a major consumer products company in Racine. They are very good at what they do and between the two facilities, Goodwill Manufacturing touches over 50 million units.
Now, let’s talk about Goodwill TalentBridge, a staffing agency that helps connect talented people with companies in the area. Not only does TalentBridge compete with other staffing firms, they help Goodwill find people to put on our packaging projects. Their team is second to none, helping nearly 90 companies find the people they need.
Next, we have our electronic recycling facility in Greendale, Goodwill E-cycle, that recycles or refurbishes computers, laptops and many other electronic devices. They refurbish what they can and sell those products on-line for a very reasonable price.
We also have our Supported Employment Team that helps bring people with disabilities to companies in the area that not only want to give back to the community, but help people thrive. They are a truly special group that continues to make dreams come true for the people they serve.
These are just a few of 'the things we do' here at Goodwill. If you'd like to see a list of services, visit our website at www.goodwillsew.com or set up a tour with me! I’d be happy to tell you about them all!