Goodwill to Mark Its 50th YearDecember 1, 2012, Press Release
JOHNSTOWN, PA, December 1, 2012—It’s been 50 years of doing good for Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies
The nonprofit organization has been a fixture in the community, working to provide job training and employment support services to individuals with disadvantages and disabilities, the unemployed and underemployed, dislocated workers, youth and other job seekers.
Goodwill also operates 10 retail stores in Altoona, Bedford, Blairsville, Ebensburg, Huntingdon, Indiana, Northern Cambria, Richland, Somerset and Westwood, with 65 percent of revenue generated from sales being used to fund education, career services and community programs.
“Our roots are helping people with disabilities, but over time we evolved our services to help people with a wide range of barriers,” said Phyllis Bandstra, president and CEO of Goodwill. “We have an area of 61/2 counties, so we look at the needs in those counties and try to follow through with services provided it fits with our mission.”
The founding of Goodwill goes back to late 1960, when a group of Johnstown residents came together over their concern for individuals with disabilities and the lack of opportunities available to them for good-paying jobs.
This led to to an interest in Goodwill Industries, which was founded in 1902 in Boston. The group eventually formed Goodwill, incorporating the agency Dec. 6, 1962, and officially began offering services in spring 1964.
“Our vision is not just Johnstown or Cambria County.
“Our goal is to reach all counties to provide services and do it in a fiscally sound way and do it well,” Bandstra said.
Bandstra said one of the highlights in Goodwill’s history was being awarded Workforce Investment Act Title 1 services for adults, dislocated workers and youth from the Southern Alleghenies Workforce Investment Board.
“It allowed us to say that Goodwill is in fact a work force development provider and we were able to move on from there,” she said.
Bandstra also cites establishing headquarters at the Central Avenue location in 2004 as a milestone, because it gave the agency a firm presence in Johnstown. Also, the Richland retail store opened on Eisenhower Boulevard in 2009.Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley (GICV), Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1962 to empower individuals and families with employment barriers to achieve their fullest potential in the community through work services. Headquartered in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, GICV serves individuals with disabilities and disadvantages, dislocated workers, youth, and other job seekers throughout south central Pennsylvania in the counties of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Huntingdon, Indiana, Somerset and a portion of Westmoreland by providing education and career services as well as job placement and postemployment supports. GICV is a community-based member organization of Goodwill Industries International, a 179-member network in the U.S., Canada, and 13 other countries. Learn more at www.gicv.org.