“I know we all want the deficit to be reduced yet communities need job training funds to get people retrained to go to work,” said Terry A. Hayes, president & CEO of Tacoma Goodwill, noting the agency faces more than $2.5 million in state and federal losses. “When government funds are cut, then local communities will need to take care of local people.”
During the event, Hayes noted Goodwill’s progress since opening the Milgard Work Opportunity Center in Tacoma. The successes include a 55 percent increase in people served, the taxpayer savings of $14.6 million based on the people the agency placed in jobs last year, and the success of the REACH Center that helps at-risk young adults.
She also acknowledged Michael Bulling, in the audience, who received the national Graduate of the Year award from Goodwill Industries International. Bulling, who has cerebral palsy, works as a custodian for Capitol Building Maintenance at Sea-Tac International Airport and was Tacoma’s winner of the award last year.
Three individuals received awards this year:
Graduate of the Year / Lois Beagle — Lois works as a chef for AAFES at Joint Base Lewis McChord. She faced an abusive relationship and poor self-esteem when she came to Goodwill and graduated the Culinary Skills program. “Without Goodwill, I would still be looking for employment and having doors shoved closed in my face,” she said.
Achiever of the Year / Jenn Ward — Jenn is a participant in Projects With Industry program, helping people with disabilities find work. For Jenn, battling untreated bipolar disorder left her going from job to job. “Without Goodwill, I’d still be homeless and worse off emotionally,” she said.
Michener Award / Courtney Williams — Courtney was homeless for a time after escaping difficult challenges at home. He is now looking toward becoming a youth minister after going through Goodwill’s STEPS program. “I believe I can now be successful,” said Courtney, now a Northwest University student.
Two business awards also were distributed:
Community Partner of the Year / KeyBank — KeyBank supports Goodwill’s Key to Change financial education program, investing more than $200,000 over the past five years. The class teaches budgeting and managing a checking account, and controlling credit. “We will continue to support Goodwill, as a major supplier of trained and motivated workers, ready to take the next steps to economic self-sufficiency,” said Steve Maxwell, KeyBank South Puget Sound regional president.
Business Partner of the Year / Mountain Construction — Mountain has worked with Goodwill since 1996 on nearly 20 store construction and other projects. “We’re proud to receive this award from a community leader like Tacoma Goodwill,” said Jeff Stroud, firm vice president.
The presenting sponsor of the event is Columbia Bank. Award sponsors include Bank of America, Murray Pacific, Print Northwest, and The Boeing Co. Sponsorships for the breakfast mean all the funds raised at the event go directly toward scholarships.
Keynote speaker at the event was author Matthew Kelly. Author of “The Dream Manager,” Kelly’s work is founded on the belief that an organization can only become the best version of itself only if employees are striving to become the best version of themselves.
“One of the things Goodwill does is energize people,” said Kelly, a partner of Floyd Consulting in Chicago. “Goodwill helps people explore the best version of what they can be — and it’s powerful every time we experience it.”