ROCKFORD, IL (Feb. 7, 2019) — Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois and Wisconsin Stateline Area (Goodwill Northern Illinois) was honored with a visit from the new Goodwill Industries International (GII) President and CEO Steven C. Preston recently. Preston, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and former Fortune 500 executive, officially took office as GII President and CEO in mid-January. He is looking to expand the critical impact of Goodwill’s mission to provide employment and career advancement opportunities for people facing challenges, such as physical or developmental disabilities; people with a lack of work skills, a record of incarceration, or homelessness; and those transitioning from dependence on public assistance to self-sufficiency.
Preston, a native of Janesville, WI, selected Goodwill Northern Illinois as one of his first stops as he visits many Goodwill organizations across North America in his first months on the job. His itinerary included a tour of Goodwill Northern Illinois’ warehouse, outlet store, ecommerce operations, a Rockford retail store and The Workforce Connection, Goodwill of Northern Illinois’ partner in operating Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) adult and youth grants.
“Too many people begin their days without the stability, dignity and purpose employment can provide,” said Preston. “Every day, local Goodwill organizations embedded in our communities advance our mission one person at a time. The Goodwill in Rockford is a shining example of that.”
“Goodwill Northern Illinois grew its number of people served by nearly 450 percent over the past five years to 24,560, providing counseling, credentialing, training and employment opportunities,” he continued. “The Goodwill has expanded its mission in part by growing the profits in its stores, which are used to fund its community programs.”
Goodwill Northern Illinois has seen significant growth in people served, sales, donations and partnerships over the last ten years, which Preston and his staff viewed first hand. This work includes its valuable mission programs, such as its Let’s Go to Work and Supported Work programs, and revenue-generating operations such as its retail stores and ecommerce operations.
“We are extremely proud to have been selected for the visit,” said Ben Bernsten, president of Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois. “It not only speaks well of our organization, but also of Steve’s focus on building on GII’s successes and impact. His vast experience in the private, public and nonprofit sectors will take our organization to an even higher level. We are excited for the journey ahead under Steve’s leadership.”