Adult Services

Goodwill Adult Programs: A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out

Goodwill adult programs help people with disabilities and socioeconomic disadvantages achieve the pride, dignity, and self-respect that real work provides.

Since Goodwill was established in Boston by Reverend Edgar J. Helms in 1902, the philosophy has been “a hand up, not a hand out”; helping people help themselves. Goodwill provides a broad-range of training and employment opportunities to assist adults in overcoming barriers to employment so they may achieve a level of independence to participate more fully in life. Goodwill’s programs for adults focus on meeting individual needs and ensuring that program participants progress to reach their full potential. Supported by a team of dedicated, professional staff, individuals are regularly assessed and measured to ensure successful and desired outcomes.

Programs for Adults with Disadvantages

  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs focus on the needs of employers for skilled, quality workers while also meeting the training, education, and employment needs of individuals. WIOA programs are available for Dislocated Workers (job lost due to company closing or lay off) and income eligible Adults. Career services are provided to all individuals through the Workforce Centers and include job search, career counseling, labor market statistics, unemployment insurance information, and basic skills and interest assessments. Training services are available to eligible adults. Services include career interest and aptitude assessment, assistance with training that yields industry recognized credentials for demand occupations, and help in finding a training-related job.
  • Reconnecting with the labor force can be challenging for anyone. Add a criminal history to the scenario and it can seem impossible. Goodwill’s Prisoner Re-Entry program assists those persons with a criminal history that have a goal of getting back to work and maintaining long-term employment.

Programs for Adults with Disabilities

  • Medicaid Waiver Programs – Goodwill’s Medicaid Waiver programs provide services for individuals with severe intellectual, emotional, and physical disabilities. These programs encourage independence through self-care skills, goal setting, and community integration activities. Specific programs offered are Adult Development Learning Services (ADLS ), Specialized Day Support (SDS ), Day Support, and Pre-vocational Services, all of which enable program participants to receive services in their community rather than in an institution. In addition, Goodwill offers Supported Employment for individuals who wish to work in competitive settings in the community.
  • Organizational Employment – These programs focus on developing and maintaining work skills and habits so that individuals with disabilities will be successful in a work environment. Through Employee Development/Work Adjustment Training individuals develop or re-develop job skills to achieve positive employment outcomes. Extended Employment Services provide paid and unpaid work activities at a Goodwill work center or in an integrated community setting with Goodwill supervision. The goal is to improve productivity, wages, and competitive work skills.
  • Employment & Training – Individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment that are looking for community based work opportunities benefit from Community Work Adjustment TrainingGoodCare Health Care Training, Hospitality TrainingSupported Employment, Support Services for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and Work Incentive Specialist Advocate (WISA). Each program provides case management, and support for both the employee and community employer.

See our interactive Services Map to view services available in your area.

For more information on Goodwill Adult Programs, e-mail