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Goodwill NYNJ joins employers to create workplace with no barriers for people with disabilities

Goodwill® Industries of Greater NY and Northern NJ Honors Partner Employers & an Employee with Disabilities, one of 9,000 Receiving Services, for his Two Decade Career in the Retail Sector

NEW YORK, Oct. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Goodwill® Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc. (Goodwill NYNJ) recognized today The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX) with the 2019 Outstanding Employer Support award for sharing the vision of Goodwill NYNJ of creating a world with no employment barriers for people with disabilities. Mike Zimmerman, Regional Vice President for HomeGoods, a division of TJX, accepted the award. Christian Diaz-Luna, a Goodwill NYNJ program participant and HomeGoods employee was honored with the 2019 NDEAM Employee of the Year award.

From L-R: Katy Gaul-Stigge, Goodwill NYNJ President/CEO; Jamie Pena, HomeGoods Bayside, NY Store Manager; Christian Diaz-Luna, Goodwill NYNJ Program Participant, and 2019 NDEAM Employee of the Year Award recipient; and Mike Zimmerman, Regional VP, HomeGoods, and 2019 Outstanding Employer Support Award recipient.

Katy Gaul-Stigge, Goodwill NYNJ President & CEO, presented both awards today during Goodwill NYNJ's 3rd Employment Honors Awards ceremony in The HUB @ Company (335 Madison Avenue, 4th fl.; New York, NY 10017). Goodwill NYNJ holds its annual ceremony during October, National Disability Employment Awareness month (NDEAM) to celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities and to emphasize the importance of inclusive policies and practices to ensure that all people with disabilities who want to work have the supports and access to work. The event also serves to recognize employers who hire people with disabilities. The 2019 NDEAM theme is "The Right Talent, Right Now."

According to a 2018 study by Accenture in partnership with the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN, businesses that actively seek to employ people with disabilities outperform businesses that do not. Their revenues were 28% higher, net income was two times more, and profit margins were higher by 30%. Additionally, the Department of Labor found that employers who embraced disability saw a 90% increase in employee retention.

People with disabilities need comprehensive employment services to get and keep their jobs. In 2018, Goodwill NYNJ provided customized job training, placement, on the-job coaching, and retention services for 30,000 people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

Goodwill NYNJ staff stays with workers with disabilities for months, years, or as long as they need. This approach has helped Christian, who went to Goodwill NYNJ nearly 20 years ago, to have a career in retail, the sector of his choice. Goodwill NYNJ helped him get his first job after graduating from high school. At some point, Christian applied to work at a Goodwill store, where he gained work experience. Today, he works at HomeGoods.

Meet Christian, our NDEAM Employee of the Year award honoree in this video.

"My coach taught me how to work, how to react with customers. Thank you coach, thank you Goodwill for giving me a chance," said Christian Diaz-Luna, recipient of the Goodwill NYNJ 2019 NDEAM Employee of the Year award.

"We are proud to work with great employers who are creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Every day, Goodwill NYNJ connects people with mental health or developmental disabilities to employment because we provide sector-specific training and personalized supports. We don't just find jobs, we stay with people, like Christian for many years and build relationships with companies building economic vitality and diverse workplaces," said Goodwill NYNJ President & CEO Katy Gaul-Stigge.

About Goodwill NYNJ

Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc. (Goodwill NYNJ) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates 34 retail stores throughout the region powered by donations of clothing and household items. Goodwill NYNJ translates those donations into workforce development services for people with disabilities and the unemployed, and job training leading to employment. Annually, Goodwill NYNJ services build better lives for thousands of New York City Metropolitan Area residents and their families. For over 104 years, the agency's mission has been to empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment to gain independence through the power of work. Learn more about Goodwill NYNJ at http://www.goodwillnynj.org; follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillNYNJ; and find us on Facebook or Instagram: GoodwillNYNJ.

Contact: Jose Medellin |  jmedellin@goodwillnynj.org | (646) 238-9133 mobile

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