Many of those who turn to Goodwill for help often have barriers to overcome in rebuilding their lives and careers. Sometimes those barriers include physical challenges, a lack of valuable work skills or the need for new opportunities to become self-sufficient. In the case of George Davis, the staff cleaner at the Recycling Center in New Castle and Goodwill’s Achiever of the Year, overcoming a criminal background was the key to his rebirth.
In 1996, George knew it was time for a change. He had spent the last 30 years as a professional criminal, had been in and out of jail for armed robbery and even once escaped from prison. With an 8th grade education, a criminal background and various health problems, George felt he had very few options. He needed a new start away from his life of crime, so he moved from his home in Baltimore to the country in Sussex County, Delaware.
After a few years of soul searching, George moved to New Castle County and was referred to Goodwill by Delaware’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. He became a regular visitor at the Job Resource Center on Lea Boulevard in Wilmington where he worked on building a resume and practiced interview skills. George also enrolled in Goodwill’s industrial cleaning skills program and took a seasonal position accepting donations at the Goodwill Recycling Center in New Castle. On his own, he practiced his janitorial skills by cleaning the restrooms and break rooms. When his supervisors saw George’s dedication and positive attitude, he was hired to a full time position as the cleaner assigned to the Goodwill Recycling Center.
Goodwill’s Achiever of the Year award is presented to an individual who has overcome significant barriers to achieve their goals for success in both the workplace and in daily life. The individual who receives this award has continued to grow on the job while achieving their personal aspirations. Since working for Goodwill, George has demonstrated that he cares about his work, fellow team members and Goodwill customers. He has demonstrated what is possible with determination, a strong work ethic, patience and a second chance at life with the help of Goodwill.
For over 90 years, Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County’s mission has been to improve the quality of life for people with barriers to self-sufficiency through the Power of Work. In 2013, Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County provided nearly 45,000 services to individuals throughout the region and helped over 500 individuals connect to employment.