‘It is the mission of Goodwill Industries of East Texas, Inc. to provide skills training and vocational opportunities for people with barriers to employment.”
Most people know about Goodwill Industries through shopping or donating to our thrift stores. THANK YOU if you have done either of these! But more importantly, Goodwill uses the revenue from these stores to provide training, counseling, services and community employment to those with some type of barrier such as a disability or a background of disadvantage. Your donations and shopping at Goodwill stores truly change lives through these services! Through Goodwill, these individuals, their families and other members of our community gain self esteem and become independent, self-sufficient citizens. They feel proud to have gained work skills and subsequently a paycheck which allows them to contribute to their own well being. (See My Story)
Goodwill was conceived in 1902 by Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister in Boston. He created jobs by collecting unwanted household goods, then employing people to repair and resell them. The income from resold goods paid the worker’s wages. In turn, the reclaimed items became available to anyone at affordable prices. His motto was “a Hand Up not a Hand Out”. Goodwill Industries of East Texas, Inc. continues to provide the spirit of that mission today.
Goodwill Industries of East Texas is committed to serving the East Texas area by currently operating 2 stores in Tyler, 2 stores in Longview, and 11 stores in the surrounding towns of Mineola, Canton, Athens, Palestine, Jacksonville, Henderson, Kilgore, Gladewater, Marshall and Carthage. In 2013, Goodwill East Texas provided low cost, high quality items to 600,000 customers and employed over 400 individuals. Customers can find budget friendly items such as gently used clothing, furniture, household items, yard art, tools, electronics, vintage and antiques and trendy, one of a kind items! If you love treasure hunting, Goodwill of East Texas is for you! Store Locations
Did you know that Goodwill of East Texas has a Commercial Services Division? Formerly called “Opportunities in Tyler” this 25,000 sq. ft. facility operates an Extended Employment Center (sheltered workshop). This Center puts those individuals to work who may not be able to find employment elsewhere due to the severity of their disabilities. The Commercial Services Division also offers: contract assembly work for employers ; Secure Document Destruction (NAID membership); electronic recycling in partnership with Dell computers and others; cardboard recycling; LawnWorks business and residential lawn care services; a ComputerWorks store reselling laptops, printers, computer systems as well as offering computer repair services. The division continues to make assorted styles of scented candles which are hand-poured and sold in our retail stores. WOW! As an important part of Goodwill’s mission of putting people to work, the Commercial Services Division is projected, in 2013, to impact the East Texas economy by achieving over $2 million in revenue.
Goodwill is a service provider authorized by TIBH and DARS. TIBH, who oversees state purchases from the blind and handicapped and DARS, Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services are state contracting agencies. Goodwill’s Career and Counseling Services Division performs Vocational Evaluation tests, Work Adjustment Training, Job Quest, Vocational Adjustment, Personal/Social Adjustment training. As a unique service to our area employment partners, C&CS provides Job Placement, Job Coaching and on-the-job (OJT) support. Licensed Professional Counselor Services and Career Focus consultations are available on a fee for service basis.
As mentioned, Goodwill provides jobs, on a daily basis, to between 400 and 450 people. In 2013, Goodwill East Texas paid over $6 million in salaries and wages that equates through a ripple effect, to an economic impact for the East Texas community of close to $15,000,000. At the same time that we provide jobs, we also act as a stepping stone for individuals to move on to better paying, long term, permanent employment. In 2013, we issued W-2’s to approximately 945 individuals.
Goodwill has been a recycler for over 100 years! In 2010, Goodwill Industries of East Texas diverted from the landfill over 4,000 tons of donated items to third party users. Textile items may have been shipped to third world countries for sale there or converted into other products such as oil cleaning rags in garages.. As an e-cycler, Goodwill has also diverted over 500,000 pounds of toxic e-waste from reaching landfills.
Goodwill Industries of East Texas is a “not-for-profit”, tax exempt (under section 501-C-3 of the IRS tax code) charity.