[nfbmi-talk] jobs for the blind tacoma

Terry D. Eagle terrydeagle at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 9 13:23:15 UTC 2014

Perhaps we ought to get into this results-oriented, results-getting
business, it surely beats asupporting a $26 Million agenda that has nothing
training for the blind and jobs for the blind here in Michigan, including a
ever-increasing high administrative and administration cost BADP (Business
and Development Program), that has to date not employed a single blind
person, despite an interview question, "What experience do you have working
with blind people?", while clearly violating Public Act 260 with regard to
who should be operating and working BEP locations, rather than sighted civil
servants, who have hijacked jobs and the law supportive of blind persons!
Where is the outrage and positive action of NFB Michigan, who made Public
Act 260 possible?  Silence and go-along-to-get-along has been really
effective, correct? 

BADP and P.A. 260 violation update - Last week BADP interviewed 14 students,
including at least one blind student, and do you think BADP employed a blind
student to work food service at our Capitol; a place that is supposed to be
a place of law-making not law-breaking!  I guess the lives and dreams of
blind persons  don't matter when it comes to breaking the law, or positive
action by concerned persons would be taken, rather than heads-in-the sand
attitude and approach. 

Goodwill keeps growing, keeps serving

by Zachariah Bryan


Upon its five-year anniversary, Goodwill's Milgard Work Opportunity Center
in Tacoma is a success story. For fiscal year 2014, 9,600 unemployed people

gone through Goodwill's job training and placement services and nearly 2,900
people were placed into jobs.


This continues the nonprofit's continual upward trend. Since the first year
the nonprofit's Milgard Work Opportunity Center was opened, in 2009,

has seen an increase of 35 percent in the number of people served (from
6,300 to 9,600) and a 65 percent increase in the number of people placed in

(from 1,000 to 2,900).


Overall, since the center was opened, 46,400 people have been served with
job training and support and 10,300 people have been placed in jobs with

1,000 companies in the region.


"The thing to understand about the folks that work in our stores is we setup
the store employment as a transitionary work force. Once they go through the

retail training, they can get into jobs at our stores, accumulate experience
and supervisor recommendations. . It becomes a stepping stone (for someone

to go to) another store," said George White, a Goodwill spokesman.


Walking through the halls of the Center, and the original Goodwill building
next door, you see enough to keep a person busy for a lifetime. Barista

culinary and catering school, construction, custodial, retail, a job
resource center, a learning lab for computers, interview and time management

builders, case management and more.


People of all walks can be found: at-risk youth, displaced homemakers,
parents on Welfare or TANF, legal immigrants, returning veterans, older

and people with disabilities.


These programs are made possible by Goodwill's main revenue source: the
Goodwill retail stores. In the past fiscal year, 95 million pounds of

donations were dropped off at Goodwill's 34 retail stores in the region.
Almost $1.5 million was raised in charitable support. And in all, the

and Rainier Region Goodwill posted a total revenue of $74.5 million.


"The bottom line, there's more efficiencies in how the business is being
operated and it's turning into increased revenue for the job training and
job placement,"

White said.


According to Goodwill's annual report, the nonprofit had a $48 million
impact on the regional economy. This includes $20 million-worth of savings
for welfare

and disability payments, as well as saving tax money by placing 2,900 people
in jobs. In addition, $25 million in products and services were purchased

from local companies and the company paid $2.8 million in state and local


Looking at next year, White said that Goodwill is preparing itself for a
huge transition of soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Initial

show that the number of transitioning soldiers could be as high as 16,000,
though that number could be lower when the official announcement is made in

January. While not all of those soldiers will stay in the area, a good-sized
percentage will, White said.


"The projections are not very pretty," White said. "There are a lot of
soldiers that are going to transition out and look to be employed in this
area, and

that will put pressure on the employment rate and the need for socials
services to support them."


To meet the demand, Goodwill started a new mentoring program for veterans.
White said that Goodwill is mulling over some new job training services, as

but they have yet to announce anything.


Goodwill officials also said they plan to focus on services for youth and
single parent families, expand online sales and open a new, 25,000 sq. ft.

store in Olympia, on Feb. 5. The existing west Olympia store is already No.
1 for the group, both in terms of size and sales in its region.


White is ecstatic about Goodwill's future and the people they will serve. At
this rate, the nonprofit's footprint in the Olympics and Rainier region is

ever expanding, and it shows no signs of slowing down.


"It's about serving the unemployed in the region and giving them the
resources they need," White said. "Not a handout, but a hand up. We're about

people to develop career plans and to have career path, and to go from
wherever they are now to a better quality of life."


This article appeared in a

December 2014





More information about the NFBMI-Talk mailing list