Using Goodwill to Source Employees

by Kathryn Hawkins

1 min read

Need to hire new staff for your business? Consider calling the Goodwill Job Center in your community. Goodwill uses the funds raised from selling donated goods to finance job-training and support programs. The nonprofit organization provides regional programs throughout the United States and Canada for senior workers, people with disabilities, ex-convicts, and other disadvantaged applicants.

Lauren Lawson-Zilai, media relations manager for Goodwill Industries International, talked with the Intuit Small Business Blog about how and why small-business owners should consider using Goodwill’s staffing services.

ISBB: Who does Goodwill accept into its training programs, and what kind of training is provided?

Lawson-Zilai: We provide job training to anyone who’s facing challenges in finding employment — people with language barriers, a lack or education or job experience, disabilities, or even a criminal background. In this economy, we’re also getting people who have been laid off after 30 years and need to learn new skills.

Each Goodwill agency functions autonomously to tailor its job-training programs to meet the needs of the local community. We train in fields such as health care, construction, computer programing, janitorial services, and landscaping construction. We also give applicants access to our computers and assist them with their resumes, so they can present themselves in the best light possible to potential employers.

Why should an employer hire staff through Goodwill?

Goodwill gives employers the opportunity to help their communities by giving disadvantaged applicants a chance. There’s no risk to the business owner: When employers staff through Goodwill, the applicants have already received significant training in the job skills necessary for the positions being filled. After the applicants have been hired, their Goodwill trainers continually check back in with them and provide ongoing assistance, so that new hires won’t have trouble adjusting to their jobs.

What should a small-business owner do to take advantage of Goodwill’s staffing solutions?

We have 165 local agencies across the United States and Canada, each with their own job-training and staffing programs. Business owners should reach out to their local Goodwill training center to find out what training programs are available in the community and if one of them is a fit for the positions they’re trying to staff. We have a large pool of qualified candidates available: We’re placing someone in a good job every 42 seconds of every business day.

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