In 2016, Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois served 8,153 people in many different ways, but with the same end goal – helping people create opportunities to enhance their lives.
Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois provided free income tax preparation and filing services to 2,636 individuals and families, returning over $3.5 million in refunds to our local communities and saving individuals over hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax preparation fees. Strong partnerships with Rock Valley College and Northern Illinois University provided opportunities for tax sites at the colleges with student volunteers.
This program is generously supported through the United Way of the Rock River Valley and the Internal Revenue Service.
Goodwill’s Financial Education and Empowerment provided financial education to 30 individuals with over 158 financial behaviors incentivized. This includes outcomes such as new savings and checking accounts opened and kept healthy and active, debt reduced, reduction of predatory fees and accounts, and additional healthy behaviors.
GoodGRADS High School Equivalency Services
Our GoodGRADS program served 187 individuals through Adult Education classes. Over 81% of Goodwill’s students persisted in the GoodGRADS program and over 71% of students had increases in both math and reading in our 8-week class sessions.
Goodwill provided scholarships for 367 people in our communities to take their High School equivalency test, in addition to 354 practice tests funded.
Our partner programs, including the 4 Agency GED program, a collaborative program with Rock Valley College, United Way of the Rock River Valley, and the Workforce Connection, served 96 students with GED instruction, case management, and career planning and post-secondary training.
The Alpine Kiwanis Foundation generously provided funding to assist Goodwill’s students with transportation and testing assistance.
Let’s Go to Work Program
Goodwill’s supported work program offers employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in 9 community locations. In 2016, we served 66 individuals in this program with of program participants with 13 participants transitioning to community work when they are ready. Work sites include Algonquin, Beloit, Crystal Lake, Freeport, Huntley, McHenry, Ottawa, Sterling, and Goodwill’s Warehouse facility.
Goodwill began a supported work program in conjunction with the State of Illinois Department of Vocational Rehabilitation in Rockford in 2016. This program is based on our successful Let’s Go to Work program model and provides adults with significant disabilities with employment, job coaching, training, and transitions to community employment. The Blazer Foundation generously supports this program.
Our Let’s Go to Work Retail training provided 251 students and individuals with disabilities with training about the retail industry and how to succeed in the industry. Goodwill staff hosted 17 training events for the Retail Training Program.
Goodwill’s employment services programs provide the essential skills for individuals to find and maintain employment and self-sufficiency.
Goodwill’s Employment programs placed 247 people in good jobs in the communities in which we operate.
Our work with youth in the Elevate program with Rock Valley College, the Workforce Investment Board, and the YMCA served over 190 youth ages 16-24. Goodwill provides essential Career Readiness and Exploration programming in conjunction with our partners who provide high school equivalency and work experience. In 2016, 113 students earned their GED or High School diploma and 18 individuals earned their Work Keys National Career Readiness Certificate.
Goodwill’s Community Resource Room in DeKalb provides employment and supportive services connections in the community. In 2016, the Community Resource Room served 725 individuals and over 3,100 visits. Goodwill hosted 30 employers with Hiring Events in the room and 90 individuals earned employment in the community. We are grateful to have the support of the Grainger Foundation to help support our Community Resource Room.
Goodwill’s partnerships with bordering Goodwill agencies helps us serve additional individuals in our communities. The partnership with Goodwill of the Heartland helped our agencies serve our country’s veterans in transitional work opportunities in our Sterling, IL location.
Supportive Services and Assistance
Goodwill’s Attire to Hire and Clothing for Kids programs provide essential clothing for individuals in all of our communities. Referral agencies include Beloit Memorial High School, Bridgeway, Centegra Health, Pioneer Center, Project 16:49, Rockford Housing Authority, Rock Valley College, the Rockford Housing Authority, and the Veterans Assistance Commission.
Goodwill’s Round up at the Register program provides scholarships to individuals with disabilities at the community colleges in all of our local communities. In 2016, over $80,500 in scholarship funds was given to individuals with disabilities through the generosity of Goodwill customers. Community Colleges are: Blackhawk Technical College, Highland Community College, Illinois Valley Community College, Kishwaukee College, McHenry County College, Rock Valley College, and Sauk Valley College.
In 2016, Goodwill generated $1,104,820 in retail sales tax and paid employee income taxes in the amount of over $560,000.
Goodwill also diverted over 10.9 million pounds from our local landfills by recycling cardboard, shoes, clothing, and metals, and computers.