See What a Little Good Will Do

April 16th, 2014

Have you seen or heard or Goodwill’s new advertising initiatives around town? These initiatives were created as part of a new brand awareness campaign designed to address a comment we hear way too often from members of the public: “I had no idea Goodwill did all of that!”

Often times when people hear the name “Goodwill,” they think of our retail stores. Many people don’t realize that we use retail proceeds to train and employ people right here in the greater Charlotte area. The services we provide help give people the tools to obtain family-sustaining employment. Our goal with this campaign is to educate, excite and motivate our community.  Our campaign tagline “See what a little good will do” demonstrates how a little good (like one bag of gently-used clothing) can make a huge impact.

We’re excited about the campaign and hope it will encourage others to see what a little good will do. We invite you to join in the conversation! Share your own Goodwill story on Facebook or Twitter and use our special hashtag #alittlegood.

Check out samples out of our new advertising campaign below and let us know what you think!

TV Commercial

Radio Ad 1

Radio Ad 2

Radio Ad 3

Billboards

Goodwill Hits Milestone with One Million Donor Visits in 2013

January 6th, 2014

Proceeds from sale of local donations fund employment and training services

For the first time in its history, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont received over one million donor visits in 2013, marking a 2% increase from the previous year.  The community contributed 389,000 pounds – or a staggering 195 tons – of donated items on December 31 alone.

A surge on the last day saw 11,122 donors scramble to 33 donation sites throughout the Southern Piedmont, bringing their gently used clothing, household items, electronics and toys.  “We normally see high donor activity the final weekend of the year.  This year was no different,” states Goodwill President and CEO Michael Elder.  “Weather and the Panther’s game probably had an impact on donor numbers Sunday.”  During the last five days of 2013 (Friday, 12/27 to Tuesday 12/31), over 31,500 donors visited Goodwill donation sites across the region.

“What is most exciting about this milestone for us is that it points to the tremendous support of our donor base.  The simple act of donating items one can no longer use is what fuels our mission of changing lives through the power of work,” said Angela Amos, Director of Marketing & Communications.  In 2013, Goodwill used the revenue earned from the sale of donated goods to provide job training, job placement and job creation resources and programs to more than 14,800 people.  “It’s plain to see that if we each do a little, together we can accomplish a lot.”

Goodwill Named One of America’s Most Inspiring Companies by Forbes for Second Year

December 4th, 2013

Goodwill ranks 19 out of 25, up from 23 last year

Forbes recently released its list of America’s Most Inspiring Companies, and for the second year in a row, Goodwill Industries is on the list. This year Goodwill ranked 19th, up from 23rd in 2012.

“We are very proud to be a part of the Goodwill legacy,” said Goodwill President & CEO Michael Elder. “The recognition of Goodwill as one of America’s Most Inspiring Companies, coupled with its rise in the rankings, speaks to the notable work that Goodwill team members do in communities across America each day.”

Locally, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont is leading the way in inspiring work. Last year, with the help of donations from the community, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont provided job creation programs, job resource centers and training services to more than 14,000 individuals in an eight-county region spanning North and South Carolina. Goodwill enterprises paid over $3 million in wages to local clients working to achieve economic self-sufficiency in 2012.

“Helping people find work is our core business,” said Executive Vice President of Workforce Services and Organizational Development Chris Jackson. “Having a job allows individuals to contribute economically to their own success, which is an important part of a healthy community. We are happy we can help provide the career training, skills and resources necessary to support the needs of a family.”

To identify America’s 25 most inspiring companies, Forbes used survey results from Performance Inspired, Inc., a consulting and training firm that helps organizations elevate performance through the science of inspiration. The company surveyed 4,738 consumers and asked respondents to rank which five companies they found most inspirational. It also asked them to describe their most recent encounter with each company. The goal of the survey was to find a correlation between successful companies and those that inspire their consumers.

To calculate the positive impact of your Goodwill donations, use our donation impact calculator.

Join this effort to help area’s low-skilled workers find jobs

November 15th, 2013

For the jobless, the holiday season can be particularly difficult, especially since diminished unemployment benefits do not pay enough to cover even basic expenses. As the holidays approach, I encourage all of us to think creatively about ways that our community can work together to reduce barriers to employment that challenge thousands of our citizens in their quest to provide for their families.

While the recession has affected our nation’s entire workforce, it has devastated the ability of low-skilled job seekers and entry-level workers to find family sustaining employment. Last year, Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s workforce development agencies – under record-breaking demand for services and diminished funding – banded together to form a task force to explore opportunities for strengthening community services for job seekers. By working together for the past 20 months, we are gaining a more thorough understanding of the complex challenges facing low-skilled individuals and making strides to develop more effective job training services that will benefit local workers and employers.

The workforce development sector has shifted gears to deepen our collective impact on the employment outcomes of the people we serve. For example, we are in the process of developing a standardized “soft skills” training curriculum for clients, marking the first time that our agencies have reached a consensus on best practices in pre-employment training. But much work remains to keep building momentum and break the joblessness cycle. Here at Goodwill, we see hundreds of individuals each month who have been stuck at the back of the jobs line for years because they’re perceived as “damaged goods” by employers. We prepare them with the proper skills to find and keep a job so that they can support themselves and their family. However, to make the transition from low-wage worker to living wage worker, this group needs support from individuals and employers.

I invite people to join the movement to create local solutions to employment barriers. Become a mentor to a youth without career goals. Volunteer as a mock interviewer at one of Goodwill’s job training classes. Hire a person who has been out of work for six months or longer. They may have a weaker resume, but their motivation to work is strong. When a person is able to contribute economically, that not only benefits the individual and their family, it goes a long way in building stronger communities.

By Michael Elder

Special to the Observer
Posted: Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013

SHOP WITH IMAGINATION THIS HALLOWEEN

October 16th, 2013

Halloween graphicMake your budget go further this Halloween by shopping at your local Goodwill store! At Goodwill, customers can find plenty of items to create affordable, one-of-a-kind costumes or find the perfect accessories needed to set their costumes apart from the crowd.

When you purchase pre-packaged costumes, you run the risk of having the same costume as someone else. At Goodwill, however, you can find fresh items every day that can be made into unique costumes such as princess dresses, cowboy attire, clothing from different eras, and many more.

Anyone with a mind for creativity can find a great deal on Halloween costumes and décor at Goodwill, where new items are hitting the shelves daily. Not only is shopping at Goodwill an eco-friendly thing to do, but your purchase will help fund programs that create jobs in your community. To find your local Goodwill, visit goodwillsp.org.

Connect with us online to share your Halloween costume ideas or to find holiday inspiration!

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Goodwill Announces Relocation of Monroe Retail Store

September 5th, 2013

Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont is pleased to announce the relocation and grand re-opening of its retail store and donation center in Monroe on Saturday, September 21. Local officials, community leaders and Goodwill representatives will be on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:30 a.m. at the new store, located at 4109 West Highway 74. The doors will open for shoppers at 9:00 a.m.

The new 12,000-square-foot store will feature aesthetic upgrades such as an improved layout, new fixtures to better display merchandise and ease of access for the public to drop off donations. Shoppers at this store will now experience a more modern and customer-focused environment as they take advantage of high-quality, low-cost shopping for the entire family. All team members from the existing Monroe store will be transferred to the new location.

“Since Goodwill first opened its store in Monroe more than 25 years ago, this community has shown tremendous support for our mission of helping people achieve economic independence and dignity through work,” said Michael Elder, President & CEO. “We value our long-term partnership with the City of Monroe in helping turn donations into good jobs, good homes and good neighborhoods.”

The revenues generated from the sale of merchandise in Goodwill stores support the training and employment programs offered by Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. The new store is estimated to generate an annual $500,000 economic impact locally through job creation and workforce development, as well as provide a convenient way for people to donate gently used clothing, electronics and other household items they no longer use, diverting those items from area landfills.

“We feel that the increased roadfront visibility offered by the new location will engage even more shoppers and donors from Monroe and the neighboring Indian Trail and Stallings communities, which will benefit the entire area,” said Barbara Maida-Stolle, Executive Vice President of Business Enterprises. “Our retail stores are a true social enterprise. The more you shop or donate at Goodwill, the more job training and placement services we can provide the community.”

The new store and donation center hours of operation are Monday – Thursday 9:30 a.m.- 9:00 p.m.; Friday – Saturday 9:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m.; and Sunday 12:00-7:00 p.m. Goodwill’s existing retail store in Monroe (located at 1213-B Roosevelt Blvd.) will continue to operate through Tuesday, September 17. This location will be closed once the new store opens; however, Goodwill will continue to operate an Attended Donation Center at this site.

To calculate the positive impact of your Goodwill donations, use our donation impact calculator at http://donate.goodwill.org.

“Living United” Show Takes on Unemployment

July 31st, 2013

Unemployment has been a hot topic lately, with recent changes out of Raleigh creating significant consequences for those unable to find a job. Goodwill President and CEO Michael Elder discusses how United Way funding helps his agency put the unemployed back to work during a segment on the WTVI show Living United, which aired July 28.

The jobs crisis is crippling millions of Americans. North Carolina has the fifth highest unemployment rate in the nation. By providing job training and employment skills, Goodwill empowers people to earn a living, improve their lives and strengthen their families and communities – the same community in which you live.

Living United, a monthly roundtable conversation on WTVI (PBS Charlotte), focuses on how our community can “Be The Change” for those most in need. The 30-minute show is hosted by Anne McNeill, a United Way volunteer and manager of corporate citizenship and corporate affairs for IBM.

Join Beyoncé + Goodwill: Transform Lives FOR GOOD

July 11th, 2013

The jobs crisis is crippling millions of Americans. And sometimes it’s hard to know what you can do. Fortunately, there is GOOD news: your gift to Goodwill makes you a job creator. You can join Beyoncé + Goodwill to create life-changing opportunities and stable jobs in your community. This summer during the North American leg of “The Mrs. Carter World Show” tour, Beyoncé is asking fan to support Goodwill’s work with a gift today.

Watch this video of Beyoncé and see how she is lending her voice for Goodwill to provide even more quality skills training, basic education and job placement to our most vulnerable populations.

On Saturday, July 27th, Beyoncé brings her tour to Charlotte where she will encourage fans to support Goodwill by donating clothing, electronics and small household goods. Goodwill will host a mobile donation center on the day of the concert at the Time Warner Cable Arena, collecting clothing, electronics and small household goods. The revenue from the sale of these donations will directly benefit Goodwill in their work to help people facing challenges to finding employment.

Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont will also raffle off a pair of tickets for one lucky fan to attend Beyoncé’s sold-out concert in Charlotte. Members of the public may register for the drawing at any of Goodwill’s local retail stores or attended donation centers beginning July 8 through July 18. Radio station WNKS (Kiss 95.1) will offer the public one final chance to register for the drawing at the Huntersville Goodwill retail store during a live on-site broadcast from 12:00-2:00 p.m. on July 20. The winner will be drawn at the end of the broadcast. People are encouraged to join Beyoncé in supporting Goodwill by bringing donations with them.

Join Beyoncé and Goodwill today and make a difference for someone tomorrow. Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont is delighted to join with Goodwill Industries International in the announcement of Beyoncé’s efforts to transform lives.
#beygood

NBC’s Rock Center – Special Minimum Wage Certificate 14(c) Story

June 21st, 2013

Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont logo

As some of you may have heard, NBC’s “Rock Center” news show plans to air a segment tonight at 10:00 p.m. (EST) about some Goodwill’s use of the Special Minimum Wage Certificate, 14(c). Section 14 (c) is a special provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). That law allows employers, after receiving a certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor, to pay commensurate (often subminimum) wages to employees whose disability significantly impairs their productivity.

We wanted to make you aware of these national media stories and take this opportunity to set the record straight as it relates to Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont.

The reporting approach is to spin the message for the shock value of contrasting these wages to those of a few select Goodwill CEOs, presumably to incite public indignation at the injustice of such disparities in compensation. The segments fatal flaw is that it fails to educate the public about why the program exists and what might happen if it is eliminated by Congress.

The highly regulated federal certificate program allows employers to pay commensurate wages to employees whose disability significantly impairs their productivity. This means that an individual could earn less than the minimum wage or that they could earn significantly more than the minimum wage.

While Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont does not use 14(c), we do not condemn other organizations that use this certificate because we feel that it is an essential tool for helping individuals with significant and multiple disabilities gain and maintain employment. The legislation does not allow an employer to pay a commensurate wage simply because a person has a disability; instead, commensurate wages are based on the employee’s individual productivity in comparison to the wage and productivity of workers who do not have disabilities. For thousands of Americans with the most significant disabilities, 14(c) means the difference between reaching their full employment potential and having no job at all.

Each Goodwill in North America is a separate and autonomous organization. Decisions about operations, programing and compensation are made at the local level with oversight by community volunteers serving as members of the Board of Directors. Our compensation policy and approach is to provide wages and benefits to all of our team members (including the CEO) in a fair and competitive manner within the limits of available resources.

Goodwill has a long history of supporting initiatives that increase employment opportunities for all people —including people with the most significant disabilities. Please take a moment to read Goodwill International President and CEO Jim Gibbon’s op-ed response as it contains valuable information about 14(c) and provides needed perspective about the positive role that Goodwill plays in the lives of people with disabilities: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-gibbons/goodwill-and-the-power-of_b_3293985.html. While no organization wants to be the subject of negative media attention, we should regard this situation as an opportunity to educate others about 14(c)’s impact on hiring people with significant or multiple disabilities and improving their lives.

Meet the New Board Members

February 25th, 2013
Kieth Cockrell joined Goodwill’s Board of Directors in 2013. Kieth serves as Sr. Initiative Portfolio Executive for Bank of America responsible for leading divestiture activities in the consumer bank. He also serves as Vice Chair of the Global Diversity and Inclusion Council for the corporation. Active in the community, Cockrell serves on the national board of the American Diabetes Association, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.
Jennifer Schwarz rejoins Goodwill’s Board of Directors after a one-year hiatus. Jennifer’s combined years of service as a member of the board spans over three decades. She is employed with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools as an EC Technology Coordinator/Occupational Therapist with responsibilities to oversee the planning, implementation and management of standard and assistive technologies utilized by staff and students to address business/educational needs. In addition to her service to Goodwill, Jennifer is a member of Myers Park Baptist Church where she supports mission activities of the church in the community. She enjoys reading, travel, gardening, needlework and cooking. Jennifer is married to Peter Schwarz and has three children, Jordan, Meredith and Caroline.
Jean Veatch joined Goodwill’s Board of Directors in 2013, after having served as an advisory committee member. She is a Marketing Manager for Duke Energy in the Products and Services Division. Prior to joining Duke Energy, she was Enterprise Program Manager at Wells Fargo (formerly Wachovia) leading change in eCommerce. Jean also served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product Development for CPI Corp (formerly PCA International). Jean attended Stanford University, where she received a master’s degree in Engineering Management and Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology. An important aspect of her life is family. She raised four children in Charlotte, who now make their homes in Scotland, Los Angeles, Charleston and NYC. She and her husband Randall live in the Lake Norman area.
Regina Wharton joined the Goodwill Board of Directors in 2013. She is Senior Vice President, Affiliate, Human Resources Director for Fifth Third Bank where she is a member of the North Carolina Executive Leadership Team providing oversight for All Bank operations. She leads a team of HR Professionals to create a culture of employee engagement. Regina has a BS in Business Administration from State University of New York and an MPS, Industrial and Labor Relations & Organizational Behavior from Cornell University. She is engaged with several organizations in the community including the Strategic Leadership Forum of the Carolinas, Women Executives, Women’s Intercultural Exchange, HR Executive Forum, 100 Black Women, Society of Human Resources, and National Association of African Americans in Human Resources. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, shopping, mentoring and interior decorating. Regina and her husband Nicholas have three children, Nikkia, Hasani and Hadiya.
Adam Zembruski joined the Goodwill Board of Directors in 2013 after serving as a volunteer in the Hospitality and Tourism training class. Adam is President of Pharos Hospitality where he is responsible for hotel development, ownership, franchising and operations. Adam is very involved in the community, serving as a member of the America Hotel and Lodging Association, NC Restaurant and Lodging Association, United States Green Building Council, Charlotte Area Hotel Association, and the Greater Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance. He coaches little league baseball through the Matthews Area Recreation Association and is an advocate/volunteer for the Global Soap Project. Adam enjoys family, cooking, baseball, studying history, human behavior/talent management and leadership development. He and his wife Beth have two children, Gabriel and Eva.


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