Changing Lives Through the Power of Work

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Goodwill Industries of Houston
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

We provide training, education and career services to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment, improving the lives of individuals, families and communities.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Changing lives through the power of work is the mission of Goodwill Houston. By providing education, training, job opportunities, and human services to people with disabilities or other barriers of employment, the goal of Goodwill Houston is to help people become productive, independent members of the community. Goodwill Houston provides various avenues to serve individuals that are unemployed or underemployed including: job connection services, contract services, temporary services, and employment at one of its stores or donation centers. As a nonprofit organization, 91 cents of every dollar that is donated or generated from the sales of donated material or services provided goes toward Goodwill’s mission and programs. Serving over 15,000 people annually through its mission programs, Goodwill is using technology to optimize its mission of changing lives through the power of work. Job Connection Services is just one of the services offered by Goodwill Houston. Made up of various programs, all of which are designed to help individuals become productive citizens, Job Connection Services is making a difference in lives of people across the greater Houston metropolitan area. One of the programs, The Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, provides vocational training and job placement services for veterans. By finding veterans stable employment Goodwill Houston is not only helping put America’s heroes to work but also helping break the cycle of homelessness for veterans. In order to ensure the program’s success Goodwill Houston built a training room equipped with business class desktop computers, printers, and fax machines. The training room’s business class computers are loaded with software that was donated by Microsoft. Microsoft generously donated the Windows XP Professional operating system and Office 2003 Professional Edition software, which provide Goodwill the opportunity to further invest the money back into the people it services. The Windows XP Professional operating system provides a stable platform for the training computers, which is vital to the computer training offered to the veterans. The built in security features such as the group policies and the Windows firewall provide adequate security to Goodwill’s network infrastructure while providing the users the freedom to use the training modules and to apply for jobs over the internet. The Windows XP Pro software also features Remote Desktop which makes this a cost efficient solution. Remote Desktop provides the IT staff the ability to connect to the training room desktops from any location with a computer and internet connection. Windows XP Pro provides a quick solution for technical support, and by reducing down time of the computers it saves valuable time and money. The training room is designed to give veterans the opportunity to learn basic computer skills in preparation of employment, so all computers are equipped with Microsoft Office 2003 Professional edition. The Office 2003 Pro edition gives the trainees the opportunity to learn business applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Publisher, which are vital tools in today’s workforce. The Youth Summer Jobs Program is another program under Job Connection Services that uses the donated software from Microsoft to equip people and fulfill the program’s mission. Aimed at providing 180 low-income youth ages 16 to 24 with summer jobs, the goal is not to provide temporary employment but to make a lasting impact in the lives of youth. Each youth will be required to take work readiness assessment tests and be required to participate in work readiness training, which will provide the youth with an opportunity for successful employment that otherwise might not be possible. The assessments and training provided by Goodwill are made possible by Microsoft’s donated software. Goodwill Houston is impacting the lives of people of all ages throughout the Houston metropolitan area. By using technology and Microsoft software to equip people to become successful, trained, and productive workers Goodwill Houston is making a lasting impact in the community. In the midst of layoffs and job loss Goodwill Houston is creating jobs, providing the necessary tools and training for people, and providing the assistance needed. Goodwill’s mission of changing lives through the power of work is made possible by using Microsoft technologies to equip people with the skills necessary to secure employment and become self sufficient members of the community.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery