Finding a job can be nerve-racking for anyone, but for those individuals with disabilities, or those who lack work experience or training, the challenge increases exponentially.
At Goodwill NYNJ, we are committed to empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment to gain independence through the power of work. That is our mission.
At the same time, we know that employers seek the most qualified employees to fill out positions. Goodwill NYNJ understands that having reliable staff directly impacts a company’s bottom line. And, more than ever, a diverse workforce is important to reach out and connect with potential customers.
We have learned this firsthand. We hire people with disabilities, barriers and local residents to work at our Goodwill stores and programs because it makes good business sense.
According to the New York State Department of Labor, the employment rate for a New Yorker with a disability, aged 18-64, is 31.2 percent compared to 72 percent for a person without a disability. In addition, the poverty rate for New Yorkers with disabilities, in the same age range, living in the community, is 28.6 percent, which is more than twice that of New Yorkers without disabilities.
As more people with disabilities enter the workforce and begin looking for employment, Goodwill NYNJ wants to help business owners understand the incredible benefits of hiring employees of all abilities.
Many people know Goodwill stores as a place to donate, and that we sell gently used clothing and household goods, but few know that Goodwill NYNJ is one of the leading providers of workforce development services and a largest employer of people with disabilities.
In fact, last year we placed nearly 6,200 people in jobs, provided staff for over 500 employers, and sent 750 temp workers to assignments every day. Can you believe your bag of clothes can have such impact?
The Goodwill social enterprise model is based on a commitment to what we call the triple bottom line: Our donated goods-retail infrastructure helps fund Goodwill’s employment and career services, and it also results in positive social and environmental outcomes for the global community.
Last year, we helped New York and New Jersey residents divert more than 128 million pounds of usable clothing and goods out of landfills.
GoodTemps, our temporary staffing agency, selects temporary workers from our pool of 20,000 temporary workers to fill all types of positions, from clerical to professional and everything in between. Seventy-five percent of the workers have a disability.
For those with barriers, we prepare individuals for work, assist them with obtaining competitive jobs, and provide extensive follow-up to ensure they succeed. For more than 85 years, our Industrial Contracts department has put our highly experienced janitorial, assembly and packaging, and motor messenger staff to work, providing quality and reliable services to companies.
Nothing is more rewarding than to see new hires receive their first paycheck. As taxpayers, they contribute to their community. Workers with disabilities and other barriers are dependable and tend to stay in the same job for at least 10 years. They will help to increase your bottom line.
At Goodwill NYNJ, we are committed to helping private and public sector employers benefit from the contributions of a diverse workforce. We look forward to partnering with members of the Queens Chamber.
And remember to donate anytime at our Astoria warehouse at 4-21 27th Avenue.
Katy Gaul-Stigge is CEO & President of Goodwill Industries of Greater NY and Northern NJ, Inc., a 102-year-old social enterprise based in Astoria, Queens, serving the 38 most eastern counties of NY and the 10 most northern counties of NJ. We focus on the power of work. To learn more about our services and to find a location to donate please visit www.goodwillnynj.org.