Goodwill Industries of Tenneva Area, Inc. (GITA) renews its focus in 2021 after 2020 “roller coasters”.
With its mission to provide employment services to those in need, the organization entered 2020 with 13 retail stores and seven donation centers attended. After the mandatory closings last March, GITA reopened nine stores and added four donation centers. The goal: to streamline operations while maintaining the ability to serve customers and communities through a newly developed two-way mission concentration.
“Our customers, who include the people who benefit from our services as well as everyone employed here, are the most important factor in making operational decisions,” said Morris Baker, President and CEO of GITA . “When we were able to reopen the information stores, we realigned our structure to strengthen our operations and continue to provide the services for which we are known.”
Since 1972, GITA has focused its services on assisting anyone facing barriers to employment. New for 2021, the two-pronged mission focus provides internal services in addition to its external programs.
“Our employees are our most valuable asset, and this year we began providing them with success coaches to help them navigate their path to personal and professional goals,” said Baker.
Company management and its board of directors have also overhauled employee compensation and strengthened benefits. A new mentoring program, called “Good to Grow”, complements internal changes and focuses on developing leadership and problem-solving skills.
Externally, GITA is continuing its employment assistance programs, in particular digital skills training, vocational rehabilitation and senior training. It also continues its community service program, but adds two new components: Service Learning Partnerships (SLPs) and Community Volunteers (CVs).
Speech-Language Pathologists will hire high school and college participants who must meet service-learning course, financial aid or graduation requirements in their schools. The CV will provide a route for those interested in volunteering at GITA sites and events or at sponsored events in collaboration with government, business / industry or community partners.
In addition, GITA is working to launch a new program tailored to Veterans in need of employment services. Matt Delozier, GITA’s director of human capital and military veteran, said the program is expected to launch by the summer and will include resume preparation, interview skills training and networking.
“Our decision to help veterans this way was easy,” said Delozier. “We are eager to start with some basic services to help them prepare for the job search. Our vision is to become a more comprehensive program where we can provide a lot more services as well as serve as a regional hub where we can partner with other veterans programs. To close the loop, we’ll reach out to businesses and industry across the region to better understand their needs and provide connections for veterans looking for opportunities.
To fund new programs and current services, GITA relies primarily on donations. All goodwill is more than 501 (c) 3 nonprofits, explained Baker. The company uses the profits from its retail operations to fund its mission services.
“We are a social enterprise, that is, an organization built from the amalgamation of traditional business and not-for-profit models,” said Baker. “As a social enterprise, our responsibility is to integrate business strategies into our traditional non-profit model to improve the environmental, financial and social well-being of our region.”
GITA was founded in 1972 in Scott County, Virginia to provide opportunities for those who wish to work. It currently serves 17 counties in the region and employs over 175 people.
For those looking to support the work GITA does to help those in need, just visit a local store or frequented donation center to drop off lightly used items that will be processed and sold at bargain prices. Donated items have a new life and are kept out of landfills, and income generated from sales goes directly to providing GITA employees with fair wages and benefits and to providing essential job skills to those seeking employment. use.
About Tenneva’s Goodwill Industries
Goodwill Industries of Tenneva operates 13 outlets in a 17-county service area, stretching from southwestern Virginia to eastern Tennessee. The mission of Goodwill Industries of Tenneva is to provide access to employment services for people with barriers to employment. In 2014, Goodwill Industries of Tenneva provided job training, job preparation and job assessment services to over 1,000 people.