In 1969, Goodwill® opened its program doors to provide adults with severe disabilities a place to work. Participants in the Morse Business Center assisted the local business community with helping to create packaging for auto parts, computing equipment, and assembling medical items. As contracts dwindled, Goodwill® transitioned participants over to work within our E-commerce departments. Participants started by processing donated books in preparation for online sales as well as working in our retail stores.
In the early 2000s, we opened Job Connection Centers in our retail thrift stores to provide a place where people seeking employment could have access to resources and training. This program is fully funded by Goodwill’s retail sales. As of today there are six Job Connection Center locations spread throughout Southern Arizona.
- Tucson – 4 Job Connection Centers
- Sierra Vista – 1
- Casa Grande – 1
Since the early 2000s, Goodwill® has partnered with the Arizona@Work (Pima County One-Stop) to start providing adult case management and employer outreach services. Once again, this program helps job seekers find employment to support themselves and their families.
In 2009, Goodwill® expanded its mission to serve youth with the GoodGuides® Youth Mentoring Program. This program focused on providing youth with one-on-one mentoring. The program has since grown to include in-school mentoring opportunities. In 2011, we became a Pima County partner for Youth Employment to help find Pima County’s youth after-school and summer employment to gain work experience.
Goodwill® once again grew its youth services by creating GoodFutures. GoodFutures started as an intensive skills and job training program where at-risk youth would not only learn how to find and keep employment, but also give back to the community through its service learning projects. These projects help them to explore other career opportunities they might not have considered in the past and to possibly find a passion for a certain skill set. Today, Goodwill® has been extending its reach to the youth population through the creation of the Youth Restoration Project and METRO Youth Program.