Goodwill of Orange County - Nov / Dec 19

Through her role at Goodwill of Orange County, Lynette Page says she enjoys meeting business owners and decision makers “who have a heart for giving somebody with a disability an opportunity. We want people to have that purpose, pride and dignity of earning a paycheck.”

Lynette Page

“When people think of Goodwill, they often think of our thrift stores, which is great, but we are so much more than a store,” says Lynette Page, Business Developer for Human Services at Goodwill of Orange County. “We are actually a huge job readiness and employment service for people facing barriers and disabilities.”

An Orange native and Ambassador for the Orange Chamber of Commerce, Page enjoys matching specific needs of businesses and filling those needs with Goodwill employee candidates.

“It’s life-changing for everyone involved and tends to change the entire culture of the workplace,” says Page, who has or is in the process of placing more than 50 participants with developmental disabilities into temporary and permanent positions.

Overall, Goodwill OC placed 1,455 people with barriers in meaningful employment in 2018. And donations to the thrift stores, along with shoppers buying those goods, help fund that effort, according to Page.

“Many local businesses have been warm and receptive when I’ve reached out to them to explain our programs,” she adds.

Ben’s Asphalt, Watson’s Soda Fountain & Cafe, Green Tomato Grill, the nonprofit Friendly Center and Children’s Hospital of Orange County are among the organizations that have hired through Goodwill.

Several months ago, Nikki Chin, owner of Chic Party Rentals in Orange, hired two young ladies to help her clean rented items and prepare them for the upcoming events.

“They come in every morning with their job coach (provided by Goodwill), know what they are doing and get to work. And, they get excited every payday,” Chin says. “I love telling people about the program, because it can work with so many different types of businesses.”

Says Page: “I’m always interested in a conversation with anyone interested in diversity and inclusion. I appreciate thinking to hire outside the box and being willing to give someone the value and joy that comes with earning a paycheck.

“Although someone may face a disability, they also have abilities,” she adds. “I get to match those abilities with the needs of the business and provide a personal supervisor to make it even easier on the employer. We also provide competitive rates, free training and committed employees. The results are a win-win.”

For more than 90 years, Goodwill of OC has helped people with barriers find and keep jobs, giving them purpose, pride and dignity, says Page. “This is what the stores help us do, and we appreciate the donations and shoppers! It’s true community in action.”

Goodwill Orange County
1221 East Dyer Rd., Suite 105, Santa Ana CA 92705
714-541-2540, ext. 4010

Published in the Nov / Dec 19 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review

Photo by Kayli Gennaro

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