When you hear someone talk about Goodwill chances are you are thinking about the thrift store, but goodwill is so much more than the store. Goodwill offers programs to the community that most people do not know about. Did you know that when a purchase is made inside of a Goodwill Thrift store 89.7% of that total revenue is then put into programs such as job placement and skills training.
Today I got a very special invitation from Tom Dake, Muskegon's Board of Directors Chair, to take part in the Goodwill Industries Achievers of the Year Award luncheon held at Trillium Event Center. According to Goodwill “The Achiever of the Year is someone who has shown significant progress and accomplishment in achieving independence and self-sufficiency, and who also represents Goodwill's efforts in employment, education or health — the equal pillars of our mission.” Follow Goodwill of West Michigan on Facebook
The presenters of today's awards are Jeanette Hoyer, President and COE and Kiesha Guy, Mission Services Director. These ladies started the awards with Mark. HealthWest referred Mark to Goodwill’s Work Readiness program to gain the experience with job skills while having some extra assistance. Mark was placed in a paid vocational training through Goodwill’s Industrial Services Center. Here he learned light industrial work contracted with area manufactures this includes tasks such as packaging and shipping. From this position Mark was supported by Michigan Rehabilitation Services and was enrolled in Goodwill’s Supported Employment program. Mark then had the help to land a full-time production associate job at Seaver Finishing where he is still at today.
Alex was the next young man that was presented the Achiever of the Year Award. Alex loves to make everyone smile through his wise-cracks and Elvis impersonations. Although he loves to joke and have fun Alex finds his job at Dutch Treat Foods in Zeeland very important. Two days a week Alex is transported to work for two hours in the food production facility. Alex works closely with Goodwill’s Skills Development Trainer Alexis Lubbers. Alexis trains, supervises and accompanies Alex to insure quality standards.
Kiesha Guy then Told us about Joe who started the Goodwill’s Janitorial Occupational Training (JOT) while he was a student at Muskegon Area Intermediate School District. Through this program Joe learned all of the necessary skills and developed the confidence that he would need to apply for a job after he graduated. That day came six months after he completed his training, A position opened up for the Janitorial Services Staff. Joe applied and for and awarded the position where he now runs the floor scrubbers the carpet machines and the elaborate detailed work in “finishing the floors”.
Not only were these three gentlemen awarded the Goodwill Industries Achievers of the Year, their employer partners were awarded the Goodwill Industries Employer Partners of the Year. This was not the end of the award giving.... two generous Muskegon County Police Officers volunteer their time thorough conducting mock interview’s with Goodwill’s ex-offenders' program. These two officers were awarded the Goodwill Industries Volunteers of the Year award.
This was an amazing day for so many people and I am so honored to have been able to be there. For more information on Goodwill of West Michigan, click on the photo below to visit their website.