When Teresa Smith joined Goodwill Commercial Services in 2009, she was re-entering society and the workforce after a period of incarceration. Her history with the criminal justice system made it difficult to secure a job, but she approached the opportunity at Goodwill with a focus on improving her professional skills and rebuilding her life.
I met Audrey McPherson a little over four years ago when she was working as a textile producer at our retail location in Castleton. Audrey had recently been released from incarceration and felt her options were limited. She did not see a future for herself and was unable to visualize a path forward.
When Hotel Tango contracted with Goodwill Commercial Services to label their signature bottles, and later to bottle hand sanitizer, it was the start of a great partnership. Because of the special shape of the bottles, it was difficult to get the labels in the correct position every time — until Willie Burroughs got involved.
This year, Derrick Powe celebrates 10 years of employment at Goodwill, beginning as a groundskeeper and now working as a janitor for Goodwill Commercial Services.
Corey Starks joined Goodwill Commercial Services nearly 11 years ago as a janitor, and within his first year of employment, he was promoted to backup Team Lead. Due to his success in this role, he secured a floater position that required him to learn many new job responsibilities.
When Shannon Parks joined Goodwill’s janitorial team 15 years ago, her primary responsibility was cleaning restrooms. Due to a learning disability, her reading and comprehension skills were at a third grade level, limiting her ability to advance in her employment.
(Photos taken prior to the onset of COVID-19)
Nearly half of 25-year-olds with autism have never had a paying job and only 16% of persons with autism ever live independently, so when twin brothers Andre and Austin Archer connected with Goodwill Disability Services in 2016 and said they were eager to do both, our team got to work.
Each year, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana selects a Retail Site of the Year to honor the accomplishments of a location that did an exemplary job meeting production goals as well as providing employment opportunities to people with barriers like a disability, criminal history or lack of a high school diploma. This year, we’re honoring the team at our Richmond retail store. With more than 70 sites in central and southern Indiana, it’s quite an accomplishment to receive this award.