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Linen Services—The Goodwill Way

Posted by Josh Latawiec on April 24, 2017

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When I’m out meeting potential new customers, one of the questions I am most frequently asked is “What sets you apart from your competitors?”

Though I could go on to explain our competitive pricing, proven history of satisfaction, or detailed wash procedure, but what truly sets Goodwill’s Linen Service apart from our competitors is not how we do what we do but WHY we do it in the first place. In short, what sets Goodwill’s Linen Service apart is that we are inspired by people.

While other laundry companies may only focus on efficient service and cost, we here at Goodwill focus on much more. Of course we provide a high quality service at a competitive price, but we also provide employment opportunities throughout the community for people with disabilities or disadvantages. Our laundry consists of over 120 employees, 51 of those individuals have a significant disability. On top of this, some of our customers have onsite linen demands and we integrate Goodwill employees in their linen rooms and they assist with stocking and delivery of linen throughout their facilities.

Working with Goodwill Laundry for just over a year, Jayja is already one of our top performersMeet Jayja
Working with Goodwill Laundry for just over a year, Jayja is already one of our top performers.

How did you first come across this job, what made you interested in working in laundry?
“I was getting a bus pass at the front desk and during conversation she told me about the laundry program. I had never had a job before so I was interested in what it would be. I knew I needed a job because I had a new born baby. And now I like it all. I like every machine and my job.”

Though you are definitely one of our fastest workers now, what if anything, did you find hardest to learn initially?
“Keeping up with the pace and keeping focused. (Jayja frequently performs over 100% on one of our most physical machines.)”

You mentioned the impact this job has had on your life. How have things changed for you since first starting this job?
“I can now afford my own car, I can take care of my baby and get him more stuff all by myself. I can go places with my friends and have more independence.”

Meet Marie
Marie has been a part of the Goodwill Laundry team for over two years.Marie has been a part of the Goodwill Laundry team for over two years. Working primarily as one of our scale operators, Marie is responsible for weighing and billing of outgoing linen while also providing outgoing orders one last quality check.

Marie, did you have a background in linen before coming to goodwill or was this something new for you?
“Before coming to Goodwill I worked in EVS(Environmental Services) at a local hotel and though I didn’t work with linen directly, I had knowledge of different pieces and customer expectations.”

Having worked within laundry now for over two years, what has been your favorite part of your job?
“The people, I love meeting new people and getting to learn about them. That’s definitely my favorite.”

If you were talking to someone who doesn’t know a lot about our Laundry program what would you want them to know?
“That’s a hard one… I would probably tell them even though we have our ups and downs we are a family who works hard every day to put out a good product for our customers.”

When partnering with Goodwill’s Linen Service our customers not only receive a product and service customized to their specific laundry needs, they also know they are directly assisting in Goodwill’s mission of providing training, employment and supportive services for people with disabilities or disadvantages who seek greater independence .

If you've been thinking about improving your current linen practices or just want to learn more feel free to contact me anytime at Josh.Latawiec@goodwillsew.com.

Written by Josh Latawiec

Josh Latawiec began his career with Goodwill Industries in 2003 and is now Senior Account Manager of Linen & Laundry Services. In his current role, Josh focuses on the satisfaction of current Laundry customers, as well as, the addition of new customers as Linen & Laundry Services continues to expand into the hospitality market. Previously, Josh held a management position within Goodwill Retail Store & Donation Centers and he also spent time as a Job Developer with Supported Employment where he directly assisted individuals with disabilities find community employment.
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