Goodwill NYNJ Receives Amazon Donation to Fund Training & Workforce Readiness Initiative in The Bronx

Through its Jobs-Plus, Goodwill NYNJ provides members support for employment including training, career assessment, employment, retention and career advancement, financial counseling/related supports, mental health services, and community-building activities for residents of the Monroe, Sack Wern, Clason Point, and Soundview Houses New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments. 44% of the NYCHA residents are employed and Jobs-Plus works to change that number and increase employment and support for employment.  Since 2013, Goodwill’s Jobs Plus has provided services for 1,917 residents, placed 1,236 in a new job, and assisted 1,094 members achieve education and/or savings goals.

In NYC, Jobs-Plus is jointly administered by HRA, NYCHA, the Department of Consumer Affairs/Office of Financial Empowerment, and the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. Job seekers interested in attending this one-day fair or joining the Jobs-Plus program, must RSVP by calling 347-291-8050 or 347-291-8051.

When Daris Glisson, a 45-year-old African-American Clason Point resident, joined our Jobs Plus program in 2016, he was unemployed and had no clear career direction. At Jobs Plus, Daris obtained his OSHA Certification, received job readiness training, interview and resume preparation assistance, and job and career advancement referrals. The Jobs Plus team help him get employment where he could explore different career paths. He worked in a fast food restaurant and as a warehouse worker for UPS. It was after his experience at UPS that Daris decided that he wanted to pursue a career in warehousing. With this in mind, he updated his resume and was connected to an interview with help from the Jobs Plus team. And in April 2020, he was hired for a full-time Warehouse worker position with Aerotek earning $16/hr. Still a member of Jobs-Plus, Daris loves his job and has found a career – he would like to one day become a warehouse supervisor.

The Jobs-Plus member centered approach to meeting the needs of program members and their family unit is instrumental in its success. A 2019 report issued by the Urban Institute, indicated that the unemployment rate for NYCHA residents was 22%, as compared to 8% of the non-public housing residents. According to the 2020 NYCHA Fact Sheet, the average family income is $25,602 and the average monthly rent is $548.00. 45.6% of families are working and 13% are receiving public assistance. 40.3% of households are headed by an individual 62 and older, 31.5% residents are under 21, and 26% are under 18.

The Urban Institute noted the following Jobs-Plus successes in a 2019 evaluation: “Jobs-Plus increased members’ average quarterly earnings by $497 (to $2,034 from $1,537, a 32% increase) and their average employment rate by 12 percentage points (to 28.7% from 16.7%) after joining the program. Participants appreciated the personalized approach of Jobs-Plus, including the dedication of program staff and availability of one-on-one assistance”.

In 2020, Goodwill NYNJ provided job placement, training, on-the-job coaching, and retention services for over  14 thousand people who are unemployed or underemployed, half of them individuals with disabilities. In the same period, Goodwill NYNJ placed 703 people in jobs, including 345 workers with disabilities, outside Goodwill stores at industry sector jobs in technology, healthcare, accounting, warehousing, security, food preparation and service, and public agencies. Goodwill NYNJ also provided behavioral health services to help 1,400 Individuals with mental illness stay healthy, on their job, and out of hospitals in 2020.

“At Amazon, we want people to access the skills they need to grow their careers. We’re committed to making investments that create pathways to jobs that will remain in high demand for years to come,” said Carley Graham Garcia, Head of External Affairs, Amazon New York. “We’re excited to support Goodwill NYNJ and the Jobs-Plus program as they continue supporting our community through workforce training and readiness initiatives.”

“As we rebound and rebuild from COVID-19, the Bronx continues to contend with the greatest unemployment rates across New York City. We cannot address this challenge alone. That is why Phipps Neighborhoods is proud to partner with Goodwill NYNJ to host a job fair at our Sotomayor Cornerstone Community Center for our neighbors,” said Andre D. White, Executive Director and CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods. “Our community members are eager to find new, better-paying career opportunities that build a foundation of family economic security. The support of Amazon makes this work possible, and we applaud them for investing in Goodwill’s Jobs-Plus program.”

“Empowering individuals to gain independence and be able to support themselves, their families and community through the power of work is the core of Goodwill NYNJ’s work,” said Donald G. Huber, Chair of the Goodwill NYNJ Board of Directors. “Nowhere is that mission more critical than in the Bronx. We are excited that Amazon recognized the opportunity to help provide the breadth of services in the successful Jobs-Plus program, and are grateful for their donation.”

“During the height of the pandemic in June 2020, the Bronx had the highest unemployment rate in the nation, 24.6%, and the borough’s Sep. 2021 unemployment rate, 13.9%, remains the highest of the five boroughs. Now more than ever, the job readiness and career services Goodwill NYNJ provides are critical to advance equity and reduce poverty among New Yorkers,” said Katy Gaul-Stigge, Goodwill NYNJ President & CEO. “We are grateful for this donation from Amazon that will help us place Bronx residents in jobs with family-supporting wages. There is high demand for workers, so we can’t afford to leave talent on the sidelines. The public, private, and nonprofit sectors must continue to collaborate to create a more diverse, inclusive and equitable workforce that will ultimately aid the City’s economic recovery.”

About Amazon
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit and follow @AmazonNews.

About Goodwill NYNJ:
Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc. (Goodwill NYNJ) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates retail stores throughout the NYC region powered by donations of clothing and household items. Goodwill NYNJ translates those donations into workforce development services for people with disabilities and the unemployed, and job training leading to employment. Annually, Goodwill NYNJ services build better lives for thousands of New York City Metropolitan Area residents and their families. For more than 106 years, the agency’s mission has been to empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment to gain independence through the power of work. Learn more about Goodwill NYNJ at; follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillNYNJ; and find us on Facebook or Instagram: GoodwillNYNJ.

Contact: Jose Medellin | [email protected] | (646) 238-9133 mobile


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