Community | Summer 2019

Goodwill Industries of West Virginia helps clients earn pride, stability, and a paycheck

Goodwill Industries
Photo courtesy of Goodwill Industries of West Virginia

Goodwill Industries of West Virginia transforms lives, families, and the communities it serves with programs that help individuals overcome barriers to stable employment. Kathy L. McKinley, director of community relations, says these challenges can include a lack of basic skills and resources needed to seek and land a job, as well as a history of incarceration or addiction. 

“What we’re seeing in our population is representative of what’s going on across the country in terms of fallout from the opioid epidemic,” she says. “We have fewer people coming in for services, but the services they need are much more intensive.”

A path to prosperity

Goodwill Industries of West Virginia, headquartered in Charleston and serving 20 counties, operates 12 retail stores and employs more than 300 people across its operations, says McKinley. Its programs focus on helping people gain critical employment skills and succeed in the transition from unemployment to sustainable work.

McKinley points to the organization’s 12-week GoodHOST hospitality program as an example.

“People come in with minimal skills, and we help develop them for the hospitality industry, a growth industry in West Virginia,” she says. “We have a center where they can practice providing quality service to patrons, and when they complete the program, they receive a credential from a nationally recognized body.”

Along with job-specific skills, participants in Goodwill’s programs learn dependability, punctuality, self-confidence, judgment, and initiative. The organization in 2018 served 1,865 people, providing 15,518 services and placing 89 previously unemployed people into jobs in which they have generated just under $1.5 million in annualized earnings.

Donations change lives, communities

McKinley says the organization couldn’t survive without community support.

“Whether it’s monetary gifts or clothes destined for resale, donations turn into education and employment opportunities that change lives and strengthen communities,” says McKinley, adding that 89 cents of every dollar made in Goodwill Industries of West Virginia stores is used to fund its mission.

Volunteers also make a difference, including Huntington executives who have contributed as Goodwill board members, says McKinley.

“Huntington is also always the first corporate group to buy a table at our annual dinner, which showcases our work and helps us continue to garner donations,” she says. 

About the organization

Name:Goodwill Industries of West Virginia
City: Charleston, West Virginia
Phone: (304) 346-0811
Mission: To assist people with disabilities or those who are otherwise vocationally disadvantaged to achieve full participation and integration into society.

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