Goodwill Store Manager Makes Hiring People with Disabilities a Priority

Eugene, OR — Jason Samora, a retail store manager for Goodwill Industries of Lane and South Coast Counties, places a high priority on integrating people with developmental disabilities into the workplace. Nineteen of his 50 employees at the North Bend Goodwill® retail store have disabilities and are successful members of his team. For his dedication to the values of Goodwill’s founder, Samora has been honored with the 2011 Edgar J. Helms Award for Staff from Goodwill Industries International.
The 32-year-old manager works in concert with Goodwill Industries® workforce development staff to identify people with disabilities who might be interested in retail work. First and foremost, Samora looks at the candidates’ talents and abilities, not their disabilities. They perform tasks that any employee would perform — from accepting donations and pricing merchandise to stocking the sales floor and serving as cashiers.
Megan Moore, retail director and Samora’s supervisor, said, “He continues to win over the hearts of his team while constantly challenging them to achieve higher standards. His staff appreciates his good-natured approach and that he works right alongside them.”
“Jason is a perfect example of how Goodwill Industries staff work together to blend our mission with our business enterprise,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “He serves as a role model for any employer and demonstrates that people, regardless of disabilities, deserve to be successful in the workplace.”
Samora received his award at Goodwill’s annual Delegate Assembly meeting in Rochester, NY, on June 26.