FAQ & Resources

Find answers & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT resources

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • What is the relationship between Goodwill and Easter Seals?

    Goodwill is an affiliate of Goodwill Industries International. In 1984, we also became an affiliate of Easter Seals Disability Services, expanding the organization’s services. We offer job training, placement and related services to people with disabilities or other barriers to independence and employment. Goodwill Industries International and Easter Seals Disability Services have separate affiliate offices in most states and the two national parent organizations are not affiliated with each other.

  • What services do you offer?

    We offer career assessment services, job search and placement help, job coaching. In addition, we offer English language learning, math and life skills classes. Our programs offer hands-on training in careers that have the potential for higher income, career advancement and benefits. Current skills training programs include the automotive, banking, construction, medical office and retail industries. We also offer College and Career Navigation Services. Get more information about our services.

  • Who benefits from your help?

    We place four people into the workplace every day. Our holistic approach ranges from assistance with interview clothing to industry-specific job training programs. Services are offered throughout Minnesota and in western WI to meet the needs of people with disabilities or other barriers to employment. Our services are designed to help prepare people for employment, get jobs and advance in their careers.

  • Do Goodwill stores support your mission?

    Our stores support our mission in two important ways. First, proceeds from your household donations and purchases help fund our many programs and services. Second, many of the people we prepare for employment get their first work experience at Goodwill stores. They process your clothing and other donations for sale in our stores.

  • Where can I donate my stuff?

    Goodwill has several stores in Minnesota and western Wisconsin where you can donate clothing, furniture, books, games, toys and other quality used items. Find a donation center near you.

  • How can I refer someone to Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota?

    It’s easy to learn more about our job skills training programs. We offer free information sessions, downloadable referral forms or you can contact us at 651-379-5800 and visit this page.

  • How do I hire one of your trained participants?

    We have a variety of support programs to improve employee retention when you hire one of our participants. Please call our Business Development Manager at 651-379-5976. We have a variety of support programs to improve employee retention when you hire our participants.

  • How do I know my donation to Goodwill-Easter Seals will make a difference?

    We have been helping Minnesotans with disabilities and other barriers prepare for work, get jobs and advance in their careers since 1919. We place four people into the workplace every day. GESMN exceeds the standards of the Charities Review Council and our programs are recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

  • Does Goodwill-Easter Seals offer volunteer opportunities?

    Yes! Volunteers play key roles in our success. As a tutor, you can teach English, math or reading to a job skills participant or help prepare them for job interviews. You can also volunteer in our stores and donation centers; help out at one of our special events or donate your time and talent countless other ways. For more information, call 651-379-5937 or visit this page.

  • Do you need or accept financial gifts?

    We certainly do. Many of our programs have waiting lists due to limited funding. Please read about ways to support our mission.

  • Why don't you offer services to children?

    In Minnesota, another well-respected organization offers rehabilitative and other services for children and adults with disabilities. It isn’t efficient to duplicate what another organization is already doing well. Instead, we offer services to help people with barriers and disabilities transition from childhood into the adult world of independence and work.

  • You get stuff for free, so can’t you give me a better deal?

    Donations stock our stores to support our mission, but there are costs to get that lamp from your trunk onto a shelf. An attendant unloads donations, processors sort/price items and cashiers help customers.

    It takes 2.75 hours of staffing to process just 50 items and we stock 1,000+ new items daily in every store! We also have expenses like rent, lighting and cooling to make your shopping experience clean and comfortable.

    Many items start at just $1.99 and we offer weekly promotions and sales. Sign up at gesmn.org/signup so you don’t miss savings!


DISABILITY LINKS

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
People with disabilities can find links to important forms about your rights and filing grievances.

The Arc
Serves and advocates for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

Disability Statistics Center
The latest statistics on the number of persons with disabilities, employers who provide accommodations and more.

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
Provides detailed reports and information on disabilities and rehabilitation.

The National Organization on Disability
Helps persons with disabilities navigate the world of work with an overview of legal requirements.

National Association of the Deaf
Advocacy, support and resources for persons with hearing impairments.

National Center for Learning Disabilities
Resources for people for the workplace and school

National Alliance on Mental Illness MN (NAMI)
NAMI offers education and support to people affected by mental illness.


EMPLOYMENT LINKS

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Outlines your protected rights for hiring, working and more.


Job search assistance at local libraries

Goodwill-Easter Seals provides employment/support consultants in several libraries to provide job search resource, assistance and referral. No appointment is necessary. Locations and times are on the library events calendars:

Hennepin County Libraries

Ramsey County Libraries

St. Paul Public Libraries


government links

Job Accommodations Network
This U.S. Government-funded website offers no-fee consulting to help employers and persons with disabilities navigate the legal requirements for accommodating disabilities.

U.S. Department of Labor: Employment & Training Administration - Adult Services
Adult Services encompass workforce investment programs and initiatives that provide millions of adult workers with workforce preparation and career development services, and help employers find the skilled workers they need. Activities promote and facilitate an integrated public workforce system through which a full array of services is offered. These services are available to workers and employers through the national network of One-Stop Career Centers.

U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy
Outlines the legal requirements and policies governing hiring practices and reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.


MILITARY AND VETERAN SUPPORT links

Easter-Seals Dixon Center
The Easter Seals Dixon Center leverages Easter Seals nationwide network of community-based program locations, including the St. Cloud area Goodwill-Easter Seals programs.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Sign up for updates on policy and relevant announcements/benefits for veterans.

Veterans Crisis Line
Connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1.

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
Connects service members and their families with community support, training, services and resources.

Military OneSource
Confidential program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, reserve members and their families.


NEW IMMIGRANTS, REFUGEES AND NEW AMERICANS

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
If you're a new immigrant to the U.S., this site offers information on when and how to apply to be an American Citizen.


VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS

Duxbury Systems, Inc.
Resources for people with a sight impairment, such as information about Braille, seeing eye dogs and much more.

National Federation of the Blind
This advocacy and support organization offers resources for employers, adults and children.