Goodwill Recognized as Inspiring Company By Forbes

By Eric Dutkiewicz
By Rachel Martin

January 3, 2013 Updated Nov 5, 2013 at 1:12 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – Goodwill gets a "good" ranking on one of Forbes magazine's many lists.

Goodwill Industries was recently recognized in Forbes magazine’s list of "America's 25 Most Inspiring Companies.”

Goodwill ranks 23rd, and Ruth Koontz, Community Relations and Marketing Specialist for Goodwill Industries of Northeast Indiana, says it's the only non-profit company on the list.

“I think we’re an inspiring company because we help people find employment and it’s a community effort. What’s donated here is sold locally and that helps employ people locally,” said Koontz.

Goodwill has 165 community-based organizations, including Goodwill Industries of Northeast Indiana, Inc. Through the nine stores located across 10 counties in the region, Goodwill hired 154 people last year who earned over $2.4 million, collectively.

“Goodwill was put in place to give someone a hand up, not a hand out,” said Koontz. “We’re not just stores. The stores and the donations are our engines that keep us going, but behind the scenes is what’s helping people make a difference in their own lives.”

Koontz says Goodwill helps people who have employment barriers or disabilities by hiring them to work for their company, or by finding them another job within the community.

Last year, Goodwill helped 230 people find jobs through their employment services program. Goodwill works with clients are more than 17 locations from Angola to Huntington. Dexter Leach, who is a sorter at a Goodwill store in Fort Wayne, is one of those people.

"I couldn't say where I would be if I wasn't working here because I was unemployed before,” he said. “It’s been rewarding because I enjoy the way things are being sorted out and distributed out to help the people in need.”

Koontz says Goodwill is successful because 90 percent of profits made through the stores returns to the community to support its employees and employment programs.

Goodwill Industries of Northeast Indiana started in 1937, and provides employment and job training for perspective employers.

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