History and Mission
Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay was founded in 1919 and incorporated as an independent nonprofit in 1936. Our Goodwill is part of an international movement with more than 165 Goodwill agencies in the United States and Canada, and another 14 affiliated organizations in other countries globally.The first Goodwill agency was founded in 1902 in Boston Massachusetts by Reverend Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister who hired those living in poverty and recent immigrants with limited language English skills to mend clothing and household goods and resell them to support the community programs. Independent Goodwill agencies, which are all members of Goodwill Industries International, were established throughout the United States in the years following this innovative model. While Goodwill Industries is no longer affiliated with the Methodist church and is a sectarian organization, Rev. Edgar Helm’s social justice legacy lives on through the workforce development programs Goodwill provides in local communities.
Click here to learn more about Goodwill’s 95 years of service in the East Bay.
Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay is a nonprofit agency providing job training, employment experience and life skills, enabling disadvantaged and disabled individuals to achieve self-sufficiency. We do this through financially sound community-based businesses that provide vital vocational services to our community. We provide free workforce development services to those in Alameda, Contra Costa, and Solano Counties and focuses on helping those who face significant barriers to employment, such as limited education and English language skills, multi-generational poverty, limited work experience, history of incarceration, and physical, emotional, and psychological disabilities.