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Goodwill Industries Opens Doors in Korea


ROCKVILLE, MD -- 11/08/2004 -- Goodwill Industries International, Inc., has signed an agreement with the Education and Rehabilitation Exchange Foundation (EREF) to create Goodwill Industries of Korea. Under the agreement, Goodwill Industries of Korea will build a network of community-based Goodwill agencies in the Republic of Korea to provide job training and career services to people with disabilities and others who are trying to enter the workforce.

“More than 1 billion people around the world are unable to support their families and move out of poverty,” says George W. Kessinger, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “The creation of Goodwill Industries of Korea marks a new opportunity for people with disabilities and other job-seekers in the Republic of Korea to benefit from career programs that will help them find good jobs and move up the career ladder.”

The Korea Goodwill will offer a range of career programs for jobs in agriculture, hospitality and other service industries. Three churches in Seoul, Suwon and Pusan have already replicated Goodwill workforce development and retail programs benefiting people with disabilities. They are committed to expanding Goodwill services in their respective territories, independent of the church activities. In addition, Taegu University and Korea Nazarene University will train professional staff for special education, counseling, rehabilitation and other positions within Goodwill Industries of Korea. Goodwill Industries International will monitor the new Goodwill organization’s success through a set of performance benchmarks for revenues and people served by the Korea Goodwill programs.

“In Korea, less than half the people with disabilities who want to work are employed,” says Young Woo Kang, Ph.D., founder and President of EREF. “Through Goodwill and the power of work, we hope to help people enjoy the independence and dignity that work brings.” Dr. Kang is a member of the U.S. National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency that makes recommendations to the President and Congress on issues affecting 54 million Americans with disabilities.

Goodwill Industries of Korea is an outgrowth of Goodwill’s strategy to expand its services globally. The strategy is a key component of Goodwill’s 21st Century Initiative, Goodwill’s pledge to help 20 million people around the world improve their economic self-sufficiency through work. In partnership with Ekstein House/Goodwill-Israel, Manpower Israel and Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh, the organization is also planning to offer a pilot welfare-to-work program in Israel. Earlier this year, Goodwill Industries opened Europe’s first Goodwill store in Stevenage, England, as a joint venture between Goodwill Global, the international strategic business unit of Goodwill Industries International, Shaw Trust, and Rehab Group of Ireland.

About EREF: The Education and Rehabilitation Exchange Foundation is a nonprofit organization in the United States and Korea that promotes equal participation of people with disabilities through an annual international conference on disability issues, the publication of disability-related resources, and professional training.

About Goodwill: Goodwill Industries International is a network of 207 independent, community-based member organizations in 24 countries. The organization provides job training and career services to people with disabilities, welfare recipients, dislocated workers and other job seekers. In 2003, more than 616,000 people in North America benefited from Goodwill career programs.


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