2019 Annual Report

In 2019, Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois served 26,273 people in many different ways, but with the same end goal – helping people create opportunities to enhance their lives.

Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois established the following goals–

  • Increase opportunity and efficiency in all our retail stores and mission service programs
  • Live our value of constant learning for all – our participants, our employees, and our community
  • Serve all of our communities with mission service programming, and
  • Position Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois as a leader among thrift retail, mission services, and employers

Employment Services

Supported Employment Program

  • We provided rapid employment, on the job training, and career readiness skills to 31 individuals with disabilities in Rockford, Sterling, and Freeport.
  • We provided 7,020 hours of job coaching.
  • 100% of participants surveyed reported satisfied with program.

The Workforce Connection Career Centers

Goodwill partnered with Rock Valley College and Illinois Department of Employment Security to provide services for the American Job Centers in Rockford, Belvidere, and Freeport.

  • In 2019, we had 24,193 total career center visits between Winnebago, Boone, and Stephenson counties.
  • In 2019, traffic increased 60% in Stephenson county office compared to 2018 and 66% in Boone County as compared to 2018.

Let’s Go To Work

  • Let’s Go To Work employed 43 individuals with disabilities in 2019, providing employment, training, and a supportive work experience for participants.
  • Let’s Go To Work has programming in 7 community locations.

The McHenry Achievement Center

  • In 2019, the McHenry Community Resource Room was rebranded as the McHenry Achievement Center. Goodwill began offering specialized trainings and assessments to the community and community partners.
  • The Achievement Center provided 78 Workshops and trainings in 2019.

Milestone Placement Program

  • We provided job development and case management to 75 individuals in Rockford and Sterling.
  • 81% of customers placed in employment maintained employment for 90 days or more with supports.

• • •

In 2019, Goodwill achieved 2 new large youth grants – the ELEVATE Youth Grant that serves Winnebago and Boone counties and serves youth ages 16-24 and the Young Adult LifeLaunch Grant, which serves youth ages 18-24 who have been involved with the justice system in Winnebago County.


  • In July 2019, Goodwill applied for and was granted the bid for the ELEVATE Youth Program funded by the Federal Grant Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
  • From July 2019 through December 2019, ELEVATE served over 200 students in the program.
  • The program has placed 70 youth in work experience and on-the-job training.
  • 36 youth participated in training for credentials and degrees.

Young Adult LifeLaunch

  • In 2019, The Rockford LifeLaunch team was the most successful in terms of enrollment out of the five GII subgrantee teams, we were able to meet our quarterly goal of 12 participants enrolled.
  • Of the 12 participants who enrolled in 2019, we were able to get 8 of them forklift certified. These certificates made it possible for us to meet our certification threshold of over 60%. We also entered 1 participant into higher education.
  • The Lifelaunch Program was brand new in 2019 and is using this momentum to build a much stronger 2020.

Education Services

GoodGRADS Adult Education Program 

  • The GoodGRADS Program assisted 127 individuals in obtaining their GED/High School equivalency.
  • GoodGRADS classes had a 71% retention rate in 2019 and 96% participant satisfaction rate.
  • As a response to the need in the community and to reduce waiting times for participants, GoodGRADS added a new Provisional Class with year round open enrollment and staggered session start dates.

Financial Programs


Goodwill provided the IRS Certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for the 10th year in 2019.

  • Goodwill prepared taxes for 3,360 customers and saved clients over $591,000 in tax filing fees.
  • Goodwill’s goal is to serve customers efficiently and effectively and we reached our goals in 2019. Goodwill’s customer satisfaction at tax sites was over 98%, with over 97% of customers reporting that it was easy to get an appointment.
  • Goodwill’s tax preparation volunteers gave over 1,941 hours of their time to assist program participants with getting their tax returns filed.

This program is generously supported through the United Way of the Rock River Valley and the Internal Revenue Service.

Community Collaborations

  • In late 2019, Goodwill partnered with the Northern IL Food Bank to provide food pantry services. Utilizing the DeKalb Community Resource Room, we were able to provide 354 orders through My Pantry Express, an online food pantry developed and operated by Northern Illinois Food Bank.

Round Up at the Register

Goodwill’s Round up at the Register program asks customers to “round up” their total at the registers at the store locations. The round up funds generated provide scholarships to individuals with disabilities at the community colleges in all of our local communities and support Goodwill’s Mission programming in our communities.

  • In 2019, Goodwill provided the following Community Colleges with scholarships: Blackhawk Technical College, Highland Community College, Illinois Valley Community College, Kishwaukee College, McHenry County College, Rock Valley College, and Sauk Valley College.

Corporate Citizenship

  • In 2019, Goodwill diverted over 19.2 million pounds from our local landfills by recycling cardboard, shoes, clothing, and metals, and computers.

Retail Customers

  • In 2019, Goodwill retail locations had over 1 million customers at our 12 store locations. Goodwill has 11 retail stores, one outlet store, and one attended donation center.

Financial Information