Goodwill Manasota recognized for successful retention program

Local Goodwill organization invested nearly 20,000 hours of on-the-clock training and mentoring in 2017

Published Thursday, February 1, 2018

Dana Knuuti and Margie GenterBRADENTON, FL – Goodwill Manasota’s innovative GoodPartner Coach Program has made such an impact on the lives of employees that it has been recognized with a commendation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International, an independent, nonprofit accrediting body. The GoodPartner Coach Program provides team members with individualized needs assessments and the development of personal plans to reach desired outcomes regarding job performance, educational benchmarks, and career advancement readiness. CARF noted in its review that, “Mentors are encouraged to support the personal desires and needs of others, even when those goals might lead persons served to eventual employment with other organizations.”

For decades, Goodwill organizations have invested significant resources back into its workforce and that investment has paid off in employee loyalty and retention numbers. Locally, Goodwill Manasota provided 19,540 of hours of on-the-clock training for its team members this past year. Goodwill employees are provided with the tools and resources to be successful at work, to enjoy personal growth, and to achieve their life goals. 

Out of Goodwill Manasota’s 755 active employees, 88 – or 12% – have served more than 10 years with the organization. Through a combination of online resources, one-on-one life and career coaching, and the empowerment of team members to suggest improvements to operations, Goodwill is seeing the investment in its workforce pay off.

“Team members tell me that they really feel like we’re a family here. They feel valued because we’re willing to spend time with them for their own benefit,” said Goodwill Manasota vice president Margie Genter. “We help to elevate their skills, earning potential and confidence by making that human investment.” 

The GoodPartner Coach Program has numerous components that support the program goals. The Role Model Worker program helps employees to develop crucial skills such as budgeting, conflict resolution, time management, stress and anger management, team building, motivation, leadership, ethics, and self-determination; these are crucial to career and life success. Currently, 312 of Goodwill Manasota’s employees are Certified Role Model Workers; in 2017, 37 Role Model Workers earned promotions after completing the program. The retention rate for Role Model Workers for the year was 82.54%. The average tenure of a Role Model Work is 5.84 years and these employees are more likely to be promoted within the organization.

Live instructors and online resources support employee training efforts. Through GoodwillWorks classes, Goodwill offers soft-skill developmental education with instructor-led training or an online class through Goodwill®U, Goodwill’s online curriculum. The class topics address two key areas: life skills, and work and interpersonal skills.

A more recent retention initiative, called “You are the BEST,” ensures all team members feel valued and trusted. The acronym stands for the organization’s top four reward programs that provide each team member with the opportunity to receive a financial incentive for new ideas, completion of educational programs, and the cultivation of new talent: Bright Ideas, Education, Stewardship, and Team Member Referral.

Additional on-the-clock training opportunities include English as a Second Language (ESOL), GED, and budgeting classes, and the tuition reimbursement program.

For more about Goodwill, go to or call (941) 355-2721.


PHOTO ID: Dana Knuuti (left), Goodwill Manasota’s GoodPartner Coach Program manager, and Margie Genter, vice president of mission services


About Goodwill Manasota

Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2017, Goodwill Manasota served 11,672 people, placed 555 people in jobs, assisted 360 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce, and provided 19,540 hours of on-the-clock training for its employees. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 41 million pounds out of the landfill. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit