Goodwill Career Centers

Last Updated: 04/01/2024

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Overview

Goodwill Centers are an initiative of Goodwill International, a United States-based nonprofit that sells donated clothing and household items to help people learn marketable skills, find jobs, and grow their careers free of charge. The Goodwill enterprise is a network of 155 community-based, autonomous organizations in the U.S. and Canada, with operations in 12 other countries, designed to meet the needs of their local communities by offering programs and services to help people find work near where they live.

Goodwill Career Centers offer computer access, resumé creation and review, job search and placement support, interview practice, financial planning, family stability assistance, and the opportunity to meet with a career navigator. The Centers help people enroll in courses to earn a credential and train for careers in industries such as marketing, information technology, and health care. They also help individuals get the supportive services they need to enjoy success in the workforce, such as English language training and access to transportation, childcare, and professional attire. Goodwill career coaches work with individuals to identify programs, training, or resources to meet their goals.

Goodwill is also an employer that hires people to work in stores and donation centers—often as a path to more meaningful employment.

Relationship to Ecosystem

Goodwill Career Centers offer a means for individuals to learn new skills and earn a credential. They also help people leverage their existing skills and experience to find employment. Both of these are key areas of interest in the learn-and-work ecosystem.

Examples

  • Since 2017, more than 1.7 million individuals across the U.S. have used the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator to build their skills. Partnering with Google.org and Coursera, Goodwill organizations have equipped jobseekers and career advancers for tech-enabled jobs.
  • The Goodwill Career Coach and Navigator Professional Certificate provides anyone pursuing a career in workforce development and career navigation with educational content developed from Goodwill's long history of expertise. Goodwill partnered with Coursera in creating this certificate.
  • The Excel Center - Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana provides support services such as onsite childcare, transportation assistance, and college credit and industry-recognized certification courses—at no cost. Through access to additional Goodwill programs such as employment and disability services, a criminal re-entry program and services for first-time mothers, the Excel Center helps remove barriers to education and empower individuals to achieve their goals. The Center also offers a Free High School for adults.

Alternative Terminology

Goodwill Industries International

History

Goodwill was founded in 1902 by Reverend Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister and early social innovator. Reverend Helms created the Goodwill philosophy of “not charity, but a chance.” He and his congregation collected used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of Boston, then trained and hired people who were poor to mend and repair the goods. The goods were subsequently sold or given to the people who repaired them. Goodwill now is a household name and leading nonprofit provider of educational and workforce-related services.

References

Goodwill. (n.d.). https://www.goodwill.org/.

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