* Background is here and here. Press release…
Land of Lincoln Goodwill has always been committed to our mission: providing people the skills and resources to become self-sufficient through the power of work. In the past year, Land of Lincoln Goodwill has counseled and supported over 100 at-risk youth, we have assisted 500 veterans and 1,050 ex-offenders in their transition to employment, and more than 7,000 individuals have taken advantage of our career centers and the employment training we provide there. Our Vocational Rehab program supports 50 individuals with intellectual disabilities. We have a long history of supporting people with disabilities. We have wrapped our arms around them and worked side by side with them. We have always honored their contributions and our ongoing support of their needs will always be at the heart of our mission.
The outpouring of comments regarding our decision to refocus the Vocational Rehab program and its impact on 12 program participants has caused us to take pause. While we must be good stewards of our nonprofit, we must remain sharply focused on our mission. Our recent decision regarding the Voc Rehab program and the resulting harm it might have caused falls short of living up to our mission and we apologize for this error in judgment. We are reversing the decision to realign our Voc Rehab program and those participants affected will return to their part time skills training program with pay.
As the leader of this organization, some challenges can be overwhelming to the point where the numbers, rather than those we are working to elevate, become the focus. Their challenges and their needs are personally near and dear to my heart. As the President & CEO of this organization, I want to apologize to our constituents, our clients and our faithful donors.
Moreover, Land of Lincoln Goodwill will continue to work with all stakeholders – our leadership and our legislative representatives to assure a living wage is attainable for all those willing to work. I am committed to exploring how the state’s new minimum wage law can help raise up those we serve as well as the 400 employees in our organization. Regardless of the business and financial challenges ahead of us, Land of Lincoln Goodwill will always, first and foremost, remain true to our ideals and our mission of helping others to help themselves through the power of work.
Sharon Durbin President & CEO
*** UPDATE *** Looks like Sen. Manar isn’t impressed by the apology and reversal…