SOURCE: Goodwill Industries International

May 02, 2005 16:08 ET

Goodwill Industries Reports New Highs in Service and Revenue

ROCKVILLE, MD -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 2, 2005 -- A record 723,485 people benefited from Goodwill's job training and career programs in 2004, and the organization reports a high of $2.39 (b) billion in revenue for the year. The figures represent a 17 percent increase in people served since 2003, and a revenue rise of 7.9 percent. Goodwill channels 84 percent of its revenues into its services.

"We are 1.9 million people closer to meeting our 21st Century Initiative goal of helping 20 million people by the year 2020," says George W. Kessinger, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "As our revenues grow, we are reaching more people through a range of pre- and post-employment career services that help people find and keep good jobs, and move up the career ladder."

To pay for its programs, Goodwill sells donated clothes and other items in 2,015 stores in the United States and Canada, and on its Internet auction site, Last year, the organization earned a record $1.37 (b) billion through its store sales, or 57 percent of its total operating revenue. Goodwill also created 21,488 jobs and earned $422.1 (m) million through commercial services provided to government and private industry, including document destruction and management, janitorial, food preparation, packaging and assembly.

Goodwill Industries provides a broad range of training courses for in-demand jobs in fields such as health care, financial services and hospitality. Life skills training and counseling, elements of Goodwill's core services, help prepare individuals for the demands of the workplace, while job coaching and post-employment support ensure people's long-term success. The organization serves people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities, as well as those with disadvantages such as welfare dependency, illiteracy, homelessness or lack of work experience.

"Flexibility is at the heart of the Goodwill model, allowing us to meet the needs of our clients while meeting the needs of employers," says Kessinger. "From experience, Goodwill knows that individual success in the workplace depends on personalized career plans."

The organization recently completed a three-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, which found that providing low-wage workers with access to computers at home significantly increases worker retention rates and helps lead to higher wages for those workers. With funding from the Hitachi Foundation's Making Work Work initiative, Goodwill also published a new employee retention guide, aimed at helping small and medium-sized businesses keep their employees. Staff training, performance reviews and no- or low-cost incentives for good work are some of the recommended strategies. Surveys estimate that the annual employee turnover rate for all U.S. companies is 12 percent, and that turnover can cost an employer $6,000 to $12,000 to replace an employee earning $16,000 per year.

"People entering the workforce for the first time, or at the first rung of the career ladder, need resources to achieve long-term employment and find opportunities for career advancement," says Kessinger. "In other words, Goodwill is making a long-term investment in workers worldwide."

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