Goodwill Industries International Recognizes Idaho Woman for Her Efforts to Grow Her Local Goodwill

Program Manager Started Her Goodwill® Career as a Front Desk Receptionist
Boise, Id. – Laura Tompkins, program operations manager at Easter Seals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain, is the recipient of Goodwill Industries International’s 2018 Edgar J. Helms Award for Graduate Staff.
Tompkins leads all Goodwill workforce development programs in Southern Idaho and Billings, MT. Most recently, she hired, trained, and currently supervises the staff for a new Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program called Pathways in Billings, which takes a client-centered approach to job training and placement for families with low incomes. Tompkins oversees the program’s quality and compliance to ensure that state, federal and funder requirements are met.
Outside of the Pathways program, Tompkins is a crucial part of the grant writing and funding processes at the Great Falls, MT-based Goodwill organization. Within the past year, she has played a key role in attaining a $45,000 grant through the Careers in Retail program and a $30,000 award from the National Retail Challenge, and she participated on the GoodPaths proposal writing team, securing her Goodwill as one of three pilot locations for the program. Tompkins is passionate about the Goodwill mission, and is continually focused on improving the quality of life of individuals and families in her community.
Tompkins began her Goodwill career as a program participant, introduced to Easter Seals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Through the Working Solutions program, she was able to create and maintain stability in her and her children’s lives while working as a front desk receptionist. She used what she learned in the program and on the job, and through her commendable work ethic and attitude, has worked her way up to a leadership position where she can help others who are in situations like hers.
“Laura is an all-around shining example of what Goodwill is, and what it was founded to be. Outside of her success in the Pathways program, and our workforce initiatives in general, she has proven to be trusted with leading our programs. She has a soft spot for our participants and their well-being,” said Michelle Belknap, president and CEO of Easter Seals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain.
Goodwill Industries International’s Edgar J. Helms Award for Graduate Staff recognizes a Goodwill employee who has exemplified the mission of Goodwill Industries® and Goodwill founder Rev. Helms’ values of unselfish service to people with disabilities or other disadvantaging conditions.
Chelle Fried
Community Relations Officer
Easter Seals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain
Phone: (406) 750-0966
[email protected]
Savanna Mickens
Public Relations Specialist
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5293
[email protected]
Easter Seals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain Inc., is a non-profit organization with employment and job training, community integration and housing for adults with intellectual disabilities, children’s therapy, and health-related programs for adults and seniors. Easter Seals-Goodwill provides 42 different programs in 42 locations in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah.  For more information visit
Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a network of 162 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 12 other countries. GII is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is recognized by GuideStar with its Platinum Seal of Approval, the organization’s highest rating for charities. GII was also ranked by enso as the #1 brand doing the most good in the world for two consecutive years, and was the only nonprofit brand rated in Forbes’ 20 most inspiring companies for three consecutive years. Local Goodwill organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that create job training programs, employment placement and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,200 stores collectively and online at®. Local Goodwill organizations build revenues and create jobs by contracting with commercial, state, government and non-government organizations to provide a wide range of business services, including manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, packaging, assembly, food preparation, document management, groundskeeping and  administrative. Last year, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed more than 288,000 people in employment in the United States and Canada. In addition, more than 38 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills, and more than 1.7 million people received in person services. To learn more, visit