Champions Tribute Award Winners


 

Eddie Smith

Lloyd Auten Achiever of the Year

Eddie Smith knew it was time to go back to work. He has been unable to work for eight years due to weakness in his legs resulting from a form of multiple sclerosis. But his body felt stronger and he knew he could do it. Through the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program, Eddie enrolled in Goodwill’s retail training program and earned his certification through the National Retail Federation.

With his finances stabilized and the support of his own family and another “family” at work, Eddie is feeling happy and healthy. "It felt like old times, going back to work!"

 
 

 

Samuel Salthouse

Ralph Walker Graduate of the Year

When he graduated from high school, Sam Salthouse knew he wanted to go to college, get a degree, and build a stable, loving family with his fiancée. But Sam discovered what he calls the “vicious cycle.” To pay for school, he needed a job. But to get a job, he needed a degree and experience. For Sam, the answer came in the form of Goodwill’s WIOA program for youth, which offered the financial assistance and other support he needed to go to school.

With help from Goodwill, Sam earned his Associate’s Degree in Megatronics and found a stable, well-paying job as an Assembly Weld Tech. Sam is grateful for the program that “actually gave me the chance to go and prove myself.”

 
 

 

Frank Bulow

William Wylie Job Connection Success

After weeks of looking for work, the Goodwill Job Connection sign in Laurens caught Frank Bulow’s attention. Frank admits that he wasn’t sure what to expect when he walked in that first day. What he found were the resources, assistance, and access he needed for his job search, and constant support and encouragement from the Goodwill employment specialist he would eventually call a friend.

Now employed for more than a year, Frank is happy knowing he can “get up in the morning, go to work, and just…just live.”

 
 

 

Tracy Littlejohn

James E. Jones Healthcare Excellence Award

Tracy Littlejohn has been in healthcare since she graduated from high school and has always enjoyed helping people. However, she lost her sight without warning, forcing her to put aside her career aspirations. 

Seven years later, however, Tracy's vision returned just as suddenly as she lost it. Tracy embraced the unexpected blessing, determined to use the gift of having her eyesight back to help others. Goodwill's training program helped her renew her certification as a Nurse Aide and find employment, and she is back in school pursuing her dream of becoming a Registered Nurse. She is making the most of the opportunities before her, because "people don't get second chances like this. I take this gift seriously."

 
 

 

Hire Dynamics

Bill Hummers Employer of the Year

Hire Dynamics is a company with a focus: finding great jobs for great people. The passion they have for helping people find opportunities that allow them to experience sustainable career growth makes Hire Dynamics a natural partner for Goodwill. Through relationships with multiple Goodwill Job Connections, Hire Dynamics recruited and hired 119 Goodwill participants in just six months, and anticipates increasing that number substantially in the coming year.

At Hire Dynamics, their motive is more than just placing people in great jobs.  They sincerely "want to change lives at the end of the day."

 
 

 

SC Department of Corrections

Goodwill Champion Award

A criminal background is often one of the most significant barriers to employment, and the people at the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) know and understand this better than anyone. Over the years, a number of programs — from carpentry and roofing to embroidery and agriculture — have been implemented at SCDC to provide inmates with the opportunity to develop skills and prepare to successfully reenter the workforce when they are released. In 2017, a partnership between Goodwill and SCDC called the GoodStart program will offer additional opportunities for people reentering the workforce after incarceration.

The outcome of these programs is about more than just employment. In the opinion of Sandy Barrett, Deputy Director for Programs and Services at SCDC, "the more people we can put to work in South Carolina, the better — and stronger — the state of South Carolina will be."