CEO and President
Friends of Goodwill,
It has been a hectic yet satisfying year for Goodwill Industries of Central Texas. I thank you for your continued patronage and involvement with our mission.
We have pushed the boundaries of whom and where we serve, and yet stayed true to our mission: generating lifelong connections to work. So if you are reading this and thinking, “What does Goodwill do other than sell fantastic vintage at an amazing price?” then you are just at the tip of the iceberg, my friend. Let me explain.
2013 begins the 2nd year of our ten year strategic plan. 2012 brought some foundational accomplishments: From the opening of our Good Careers Academy at 6th and Chicon, our explosive retail store growth from Dripping Springs to Chimney Corners (with 5 stores more slated to open this year), coupled with record revenues at existing locations, to an unprecedented 2,511 job placements by Mission Services, our most ever. Our Youth Services program was one of the top scoring programs in the state. And this past year, Goodwill was a proud recipient of The Quality Texas Progress Recognition, and a platinum ranking from the Austin Green Business Leaders. I too am honored to have earned the Non-Profit Leader of the Year Award from Greenlights for Success and to have been awarded Goodwill International’s pinnacle achievement: The Kenneth King Award. These warm and fuzzy feelings don’t come without a cold water reality check: we still have a lot of work to do.
There is still an incredible need for services in our rapidly growing community. Those with housing insecurities, a criminal background, an educational barrier, or with a disability find it especially difficult to find gainful employment in Central Texas. Some may feel content to merely acknowledge these populations, but not us: we are predisposed to action - we not only want to solve the plights of these populations, we actively innovate to prevent them. And with a presence in Central Texas for over 50 years, we know a stable, sustainable, and meaningful job is the solution to these issues, and is why I (and my fellow Goodwillians) come to work each morning.
We continue to pioneer efforts in housing and education. Look out for our groundbreaking (pun intended) activities, including an affordable housing complex over our store on South Lamar and the Excel Center, a Goodwill open enrollment Charter School. You may have even seen an article about it in the New York Times. We want to expand educational outreach and job placements to thousands more than we currently have. Yes, thousands. Our goal: to increase the employment rate for our target populations to match that of the rest of the Central Texas population.
These challenges may appear to have longevity in Central Texas, but I have faith in our ability to not only counter the matters stated above, but to actually eliminate them. Why do I have this faith? Because I have the tremendous strides made thus far.
Every day, I walk into a building that says in large block letters, “Community Center,” and I believe those two words ring more true now than ever. Our collaborations and partnerships have gotten us here, and will propel us into the future. Through our engaged community members, a passionate board that works tirelessly on our behalf, and a dedicated staff at all levels (My appreciation for our servant leaders knows no bounds) we can make this happen. As we move into the uncharted waters of education, retail, and community partnerships, I believe that Goodwill holds the compass to success, but it will take all of us to navigate our ship safely.
So the next time you drop off a bag of clothing or an old sofa, purchase a coffee table, or volunteer your time with us breaking down a computer, thank yourselves for taking part in a huge movement of positive change. To turn another oceanic phrase, we’ve mastered the ten foot wave, and we’re ready to ride that 100 foot crest….surf’s up.
Gerald L. Davis, President & CEO
Goodwill Industries of Central Texas