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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Goodwill Industries, Job Training

Mission: Our mission is to assist people with barriers to education, employment, and independence in achieving their goals.

Results: For over 90 years, Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota has provided family strengthening, education, workforce development and employment services for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. In the past year, approximately 15,000 individuals received 31,192 services, including job skills training (automotive, banking/finance, construction and retail), job placement and free medical equipment loans. Revenues from its 20 retail stores, along with other contributions, support these services at 48 sites in Minnesota.

Geographic areas served: Twin Cities, Rochester, St. Cloud, Willmar areas

Programs: Employment and training services include several vocational training programs in real work settings, such as:Service (number of individuals served in FY2008)
- Intake and orientation (969)- Situational assessment (364)- Vocational evaluation (567)- Employee development services (272)- Work experience training (427)- WIA youth services (58)- SSI advocacy (552)- Adult rehabilitative mental health services (ARMHS) (1021)- Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) - Hennepin County (431)- Work Involvement Now (WIN) program (62)- Retail skills training (63)- Construction skills training (85)- Automotive skills training (59)- Bank skills training (47)- Bank reconciliation skills training (46)- Forklift training (39) (Note:  An individual may have received services from more than one program and is included in the count of each program.) Service (number of individuals served in FY2008):- GED services (141)- Introduction to Windows, Internet (62)- Computer Lab (basic skills; job searches) (1,025)- Minnesota Workforce Center resource rooms (5,928)- School work experience (62)- GOALS program - Willmar (58)- FATHER Project (1,406**) (Note:  An individual may have received services from more than one program and is included in the count of each program.) Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota's employment consultants help place individuals in jobs that match their individual skills and interests.  Staff provide program participants with personalized job development skills training in preparing job applications and resumés, interviewing, accepting a job, and esteem building.  In addition, staff provide follow-up services to assist participants who are employed but need support to maintain and/or advance in their careers.  During 2008, 1341 individuals received job development services, 151 received intensive support services to maintain employment and 988 received retention and advancement services.  (Note:  An individual may have received services from more than one program and is included in the count of each program.)   

Community Stories

9 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 2

I donate to this charity all of the time. I am bothered that when my aunt was dying of cancer, my uncle and her had no money because he was caring for her. The Goodwill actually charged him $49.00 for the use of a wheel chair. This makes me mad!!! They needed the charity! The charity was not there for them. My uncle received a card from us after my aunt passed and the first thing he did was thank us and drove to the Goodwill to pay them the $49.00. He couldn't even put that money towards her burial. The only reason I donate items to this charity is because I have things to get rid of and this charity is the closest to where I live.

Review from CharityNavigator

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

Goodwill/Easter Seals of Minnesota is one of the most remarkable non-profits I have been in contact with. The organization continues to innovate and find new ways to execute its mission of assisting those with barriers to employment and education. G/ES is well-managed, has a fully engaged board and volunteer base, and works diligently to maximize the return on donors' contributions. I have been involved with G/ES for about 15 years, as a board member, a donor, and a volunteer. And I will continue to support the organization because of its high quality work.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

G/ES Minnesota's life-time commitment to the full employment and economic participation of our consumers is the reason I am actively involved with this organization, even though I live in Wisconsin. The organization's values and daily practices of G/ES staff are (a) to provide the best vocational services, experiences, and supports needed by a consumer to get a good job in an occupation they want and (b) to remain available to consumers after employed and as they wish to improve or advance in their careers. For them, it is not just about training or getting a client a job, it is about helping ensure they become viable economically self-sufficient members of our communities, whether in Minnesota or in Wisconsin. In 2006, I was privileged to lead a taskforce for National Easter Seals to identify a best-practices vocational services model that ES affiliates across the United States could adopt. The G/ES's best-practices features are core to the service model we recommended for adoption by ES nationally.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Goodwill Easter Seals delivers so much for the dollars they raise in selling the goods our community donates. They provide job readiness training, skill training and most importantly the tools and belief in an individual facing barriers to employment by helping the individual work through them. In our society where work is so important to defining oneself, the mission of Goodwill develops thousands of contributing community members, one donation, one skill training at a time. I have volunteered my time locally and nationally for over 20 years to Goodwill because it gives all a hand up not a hand out.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Upon commencing my employment with Goodwill/Easter Seals I knew little of the wide array of services Goodwill/Easter Seals provides. I knew that Goodwill had retail stores and that the Easter Seals was for people with disabilities. I was pleasantly surprised to learn of all of the training programs, Social Security services, GED training program, ARMHS services, services provided to non-custodial fathers, MFIP recipients, ex-offenders, etc. Most recently we have established an actual mental health clinic on site! After being here nearly 2 years I feel very blessed to work in a company that has so many services available to our participants within the company as well as ways to access resources in the community. I feel very connected to my team of coworkers as well as the participants we serve every day. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a great group of participants and see them work towards their goals. The success stories of our participants greatly inspire me and give me the drive to continue advocating for our participants as well as our organization. Seeing where some of our participants come from and where they can get to with just a little assistance really makes me appreciate my situation in life and demonstrates to me that people can get to where they want to be with a little bit of determination.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great! The Re-Entry team gave questions,and was very supportive. They all showed great appreciatiton for my efforts. I felt I made a difference in the lives of others.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Goodwill Easter Seals MN is a very progressive organization that fills a vital role in helping those with a variety of barriers to achieve independence. In an environment of high unemployment and limited public funding, the organization continues to assist individuals in learning critical job skills to obtain and advance in jobs. The organization's funding mechanism, where most of the funds come from sales in its own retail stores, is unique. Hearing the success stories of GES participants is both uplifting and gratifying and makes the volunteer experience incredibly worthwhile.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

With over 15,000 services provided for people with barriers to employment, our G/ES branch in Minnesota is a leader in local non-profit employment placement. Further, the progressive nature of this organization allows clients the ability to be assisted in many different areas of service including Mental and Rehabilitative Health. The mission of Goodwill has remained constant, yet, continues to serve a broader base of individuals as needs arise. The administration and staff of G/ES is committed to identifying new client challenges and addressing each one in order to more efficiently and effectively serve as many people as possible.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Goodwill/Easter Seals has been a remarkable experience for me. Not a single day has gone by that I haven't thouroughly enjoyed my job here at GES. Each day brings a sense of overwhelming passion and pride and those postive experiences at work translate into even more positive experiences outside of work. The people we serve are extremely appreciative of our efforts and goodwill/easter seals encourages us to exhaust every effort possible in making sure each participants needs are fully met. What I most enjoy is Goodwill/Easter Seals allows us to develop long lasting relationships with our participants. To be able to change lives the way we do is a rewarding experience that I feel very fortunate to call my job.