SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – In response to the significant financial impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Goodwill Manasota has made significant staff reductions, impacting 374 employees – or 52% of its workforce – effective March 27, 2020 until further notice. The affected employees have been placed on temporary furlough.
The nonprofit joins Goodwill organizations across the country in making the gut-wrenching decision to reduce their workforces until the crisis has resolved and operations stabilize.
In just the past two weeks, Goodwill Manasota has seen a decline of 46% in sales at its retail stores, with the impact heading into the millions of dollars and climbing. After an exhaustive review of its finances and the consideration of numerous strategies to stabilize the situation, organizational leaders and the Goodwill Board realized that reducing the workforce through temporary furloughs would be the only option to ensure the doors remain open for those who have a critical need for Goodwill’s programs and services.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision but it was necessary to stabilize our social service organization for the future,” said Goodwill Manasota President & CEO Bob Rosinsky. “It is our hope and expectation that taking these actions swiftly and decisively will position us to fully reopen, resume services, and rehire those impacted when the global health crisis subsides.”
Immediate steps to provide support for affected team members include paid time off (PTO) payouts, access to health benefits and a free Teladoc service, references to assist those seeking new employment, and guidance for accessing support services to help them through this difficult time.
Rosinsky notes that that the furloughs were particularly tragic given that many of Goodwill’s employees have significant barriers to employment and the organization’s mission is to help them overcome those barriers and become self-sufficient.
“These were exceedingly painful decisions for us to make,” said Rosinsky. “This is the most heartbreaking decision I have had to make in my 48-year career. While we grieve for the disruption to the affected team members and their families, the actions we are taking now are to ensure we survive these challenging times and are able to continue our life-changing work during and especially after the crisis, when the community will need us more than ever.”
While the organization did implement a reduction in their hours, it did not furlough workers employed through the Supported JobsPlus program, which enables individuals with significant physical, psychiatric or developmental disabilities to gain positive personal and workplace behaviors and skills while earning a paycheck through job opportunities at Goodwill.
Goodwill has reduced the hours of operation of its retail stores – while significantly increasing cleaning and sanitizing procedures of all facilities – and temporarily closed its Job Connection (free career services) sites. Goodwill will offer remote career services to veterans and their families, the homeless and other job seekers, to ensure the health and safety of its team and the public. Essential emergency assistance clothing for community members in need is also available, and its number for information and referral services (888-230-8820) remains open.
The organization is still gratefully accepting donations of gently-used items and non-perishable food from community members at its attended donation centers but is asking donors to remain in their cars, to minimize face-to-face contact.
Goodwill is complying with pertinent World Health Organization and CDC recommendations with regard to its continued operations and will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation in the days and weeks ahead. Goodwill will share information about any additional operational changes with the community as the organization moves forward. Go to experiencegoodwill.org or Goodwill’s social media pages, or call (941) 355-2721.
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 philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.