Goodwill Western Missouri & Eastern Kansas Launches Program to Support Individuals with Criminal Backgrounds

By Goodwill Western Missouri & Eastern Kansas Community Engagement Specialist, Macey Murray

Goodwill Western Missouri & Eastern Kansas (Kansas City) conducted a community assessment in the spring and fall of 2016 and found that more than 19,000 individuals were rejoining their local community after some time of incarceration.

Following the workforce survey, the local Goodwill® launched the GoodPATH initiative to help individuals with criminal backgrounds re-enter the workforce by working in Goodwill retail stores. The St. Joseph Goodwill store will pilot the new program by providing jobs in store production, the donation bay area and at the register assisting customers. They will also provide job training and job placement services.

Isaac Hardin benefited from the Kansas City GoodPATH program. After he was released from prison, he got a part-time job as a dishwasher and reached out to Kansas City Goodwill’s employment center, GoodWORKS, for additional support. The local Goodwill quickly helped him secure additional employment. Today, Hardin works with I&M Machine and Fabrication Co., programming machinery to create construction and automobile parts. He plans to pursue his welding certificate at Hillyards Technical School later this August.

The goal for the first year of the GoodPATH program to help at least 50 people with criminal backgrounds obtain and maintain jobs in the community by July 2019. The local Goodwill will begin the new employment initiative by working with people from the Western Missouri Correctional Facility, starting on July 9.