Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania announced the winners of its 2022 Power of Work Awards, which honors businesses that are opening their doors and improving the lives of people with disabilities and/or other challenges by offering them work or work-related experiences. Selected from over 60 nominees, the winners are:
HIRE Category Winners
Fudge Farm – Fudge Farm is a gourmet fudge, chocolate, and ice cream shop in Pittsburgh, PA. According to their website, they carry the largest variety of fudge in western Pennsylvania! Fudge Farm has worked with Goodwill to support the Learn and Earn Summer Youth Employment program for the past four years, demonstrating their willingness to continue in the partnership and provide young adults with their first work experience. The Learn and Earn Summer Youth Employment program provides summer job opportunities for youth throughout Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania has been a host site for the program for several years. Fudge Farm prides themselves on diversity, which is reflected in their hiring processes. They have hired many individuals with barriers over time, including those experiencing homelessness, single parents, young adults with limited work history, and other employment barriers.
Nancy’s Revival | Revival Chili – Revival Chili serves some of the best chili in Pittsburgh and the community! Their mission is to hire men and women in need of a fair chance at work but currently face barriers to employment, such as homelessness, previous incarceration, or a lack of work experience. Mr. Jordan Robarge founded Revival Chili in October 2016 and has since dedicated his life to hiring individuals with criminal backgrounds to reduce local rates of recidivism. Mr. Robarge himself has a criminal record that prevented him from gaining employment after college. Mr. Robarge has worked with many workforce development programs including Goodwill’s YouthWorks program, which offers programs and services to help youth gain work experience. Mr. Robarge was recently a guest speaker at a graduation ceremony for Goodwill’s Youth. During his speech, he offered employment to any youth who was interested. One individual took advantage of the opportunity and was later hired!
HELP Category Winner
Accenture – Accenture exists to deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity. They aim to help their clients become the next and best versions of themselves. Through driving skills development, enabling employment, and collaborating for change, Accenture has equipped 5.8 million people worldwide with the skills to make substantive improvements to their lives. Accenture Pittsburgh’s most recent initiatives surround the ‘Inclusive Future of Work’, which helps both people whose jobs face a higher risk of disruption from intelligent technologies such as AI, and people who are facing the double disadvantage of being in jobs that will be disrupted and who are lacking the resources to build new skills. Accenture partnered with Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania to facilitate sessions on leadership skills, instilling confidence in the programs’ participants. These workshops include professionalism and work ethic, mock interviews, communication skills, emotional intelligence, problem-solving, conflict resolution, building your brand, networking, cross-cultural diversity, and more. The workshops resulted in several mentoring and coaching relationships that have opened doors for employment opportunities.
2022 Goodwill Power of Work Legacy Award Winner
Construction Junction – Construction Junction (CJ) is a nonprofit organization with a store and donation center in Homewood, PA. CJ accepts donations of used and surplus materials and then sells them in their 30,000 sq. ft. store to new users for a fraction of the cost of new materials. CJ dubs their unique business model, “the largest and coolest reuse nonprofit in the Pittsburgh region!” Although CJ’s mission is to promote conservation through the reuse of building materials, they are also promoting a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. CJ hosts several Goodwill job training and work program participant in their large warehouse. The participants learn a combination of on-the-job and soft skills as they work to process doors, tile, and flooring and deliver it to the store. They also offer seasonal employment opportunities that aim to assist entry-level participants and others with barriers to employment to gain work experience or to earn in a temporary position.
The winners of the 2022 Power of Work Awards will be honored at a hybrid ceremony on April 29, 2022, at 12:00 pm. at the Sheraton Station Square hotel. The event will also be live-streamed to registered attendees. Participating in the event, along with Goodwill clients and representatives of the winning organizations, will be Dan Swayze, DrPH, MBA, MEMS, Vice President, Community Services, UPMC Health Plan, and honorary chairperson of the 2022 Power of Work Awards, and Bill Flanagan, Chief Corporate Relations Officer for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, master of ceremonies.
This year’s awards ceremony marks the 25th anniversary of the recognition program. Goodwill created the Power of Work Awards program in 1997 to acknowledge employers and organizations that make a major, positive impact on the lives of people with barriers to employment by providing employment opportunities and support programs. Over 60 different employers and organizations have won the award.
Go to www.goodwillncwv.org/powerofwork to register to attend in-person or virtually. Sponsors are also welcome through April 15. For questions about the Power of Work Awards contact Gabi Lloyd at 412-632-1931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.