[nfbmi-talk] Goodwill's Local School Initiative: Rose Sloan's Additional Comments

Kane Brolin kbrolin65 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 16 16:21:07 UTC 2014

I thought all of us in the movement throughout Indiana and Michigan
might benefit from these comments that Rose Sloan from the national
office made to me earlier today.

For those who haven't been a part of this conversation before, a
little background:  This past Friday, Goodwill Industries of Michiana,
Inc., advertised on a local radio station that they wish to open a
state-sponsored charter school so that adults in north-central Indiana
who haven't yet completed high school can earn a legitimate high
school diploma--more than a GED.  My initial reaction as a
Federationist was to protest this, given that it's Goodwill.  But Rose
Sloan explains below that (1) not all Goodwill subsidiaries are
equivalent in respect to their policy toward subminimum wages, and (2)
a Goodwill Industries subsidiary's linkage to a school might disable
that subsidiary from taking advantage of a subminimum wage certificate
even if it wants to do so.  So now it appears that strategically we as
Federationists should take a position in support of Goodwill
Industries of Michiana's effort in the direction of starting this
charter school.  And there could be others in Northwest Indiana as
well.  My preliminary research shows that Ivy Tech Community College
does not have this exact type of program, and when they did it was
geared toward the GED and not toward an official high school diploma.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Sloan, Rose" <rsloan at nfb.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:12:32 +0000
Subject: RE: Addressing A Local Goodwill Initiative: Thanks For Your Suggestions
To: Kane Brolin <kbrolin65 at gmail.com>
Cc: "Pare, John" <JPare at nfb.org>, "Lewis, Anil" <ALewis at nfb.org>,
"Brown, Ron" <RB15 at iquest.net>

Hi Kane,

Interestingly enough, the majority of Goodwill Industries do not have
special wage certificates.  According to Goodwill, only 64 of their
165 affiliates are special wage certificate holding entities.  It is a
local decision.  While we, in general, encourage everyone to boycott
Goodwill (since many of the non-certificate holding entities defend
the practice of their certificate-holding counterparts), there are
some Goodwills doing the right thing.  For example, the Goodwill of
Northern New England actually has a statement on their website that
says that they pay all of their employees at least the minimum wage,
and they "support public policy initiatives that align with [their]
commitment to always meet or exceed minimum wage for all workers."

And just one more note.  According to the recently passed Workforce
Innovation and Opportunity Act, as of July 2016, schools will no
longer be allowed to contract with entities that hold 14(c)

Please continue to spread awareness about Goodwill's policies and
advocacy.  And again, thanks so much for your interest in this topic.



Rose Sloan
Government Affairs Specialist

"Eliminating Subminimum Wages for People with Disabilities"

-----Original Message-----
From: Kane Brolin [mailto:kbrolin65 at gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 5:48 PM
To: Sloan, Rose
Cc: Pare, John; Lewis, Anil; Brown, Ron
Subject: Addressing A Local Goodwill Initiative: Thanks For Your Suggestions

On 9/15/14, Sloan, Rose <rsloan at nfb.org> wrote:
> On a different note, has the radio station contacted you?  Did you get
> any responses to your social media plugs?

So far, no response whatsoever from the radio station or from anyone
who might have been tracking its Facebook page or Twitter feed.  I am
hoping that this might have raised at least enough awareness so that
conscientious members of the public (aside from the few of us who make
up NFB Michiana) will show up and ask some pointed questions at the
public hearing tomorrow.

Rose and John, your point about Goodwill having different regional
corporate structures, and thus needing to approach each in a different
way publicly, is fascinating.  I really hadn't thought of it in that
light before.  This is why I'm glad I centered my social network posts
on published outside sources, not just on my own beliefs.
Additionally, I'm glad I contacted the national office prior to
sticking my neck all the way out and prior to our chapter's coming out
with a formal position statement on this particular high school
initiative.  I would have presumed that Goodwill of Northern Indiana
would be a recipient of the same Section 14(c) privileges as Goodwill
Industries International.  But if this is not truly the case, it is
important to take note of such a subtlety and to act accordingly.

Kind regards,


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