Impact2032 Highlight – Goodwill Northern New England

Man talking to a woman counselor.

At Goodwill Northern New England (NNE), health is a top priority. Over the last five years, the organization has taken a more holistic view of what health means to employees by taking the steps necessary to increase the knowledge of and access to physical and behavioral health care, including substance use recovery services.

Two years ago, Goodwill NNE began offering TeleDoc, a free telehealth service for employees that do not have a primary care physician but need access to similar services, and My Strength, a free mental health service for employees in need of the direct services and/or a warm handoff to a local provider. Employees can access both services whether or not they participate in the insurance offered through the organization.

Goodwill NNE created a program called Job Connection, which focuses on the whole person and provides more support than a traditional workforce service for job seekers. Through this program, clients have access to a life navigator, which is a licensed social worker who connects them to resources for needs such as housing, food security, mental health, and job status. While the program primarily focuses on helping clients find a job first and foremost, the service also allows them to address issues in their life that might be preventing them from getting and keeping a job.

The live navigation model has been so successful that Goodwill NNE started offering the program to employees as well. In just the last few years, the organization has observed that employees participating in the life navigation program are more successful in their roles and stay in their job over 50% longer than peers who do not participate in the program.

As a result of the internal success, Goodwill NNE decided to direct efforts outward into the community and share the benefits with other agencies who wanted to offer this kind of program to their own staff. Recently, the organization began offering life navigation services to businesses across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

For help, visit www.goodwillnne.or/programs/workforce-services.

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