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Goodwill is awesome!
November 12, 2009 | Comments

The Artterro area at GoodwillOn our recent trip to Milwaukee to exhibit at the Wisconsin Art Educators Association Conference, we visited the James O. Wright Center of Goodwill Industries of South East Wisconsin to meet with the amazing people who assemble and ship Artterro kits. We were blown away by the great job they are doing! Forrest had visited before, it was Jen's first time. Most of our communication with them is via email and phone conferences, though, so neither of us had seen them in the full swing of production. Wow! What an impressive operation. The facility itself employs between 250-300 participants with disabilities or those in need of job training skills, 20-30 work on our project. They handle all sorts of jobs from assembling and packaging automotive parts to large scale commercial laundry services. They also provide social and recreational programming for participants, including art instruction!  We were able to tour their art room where we saw all sorts of examples of great projects including colorfully painted rain barrels, and paintings used for their annual holiday card fundraiser.Art room for participants at Goodwill Assembling Artterro kits is a unique project for Goodwill and we are thrilled to give participants an opportunity to learn job skills while working with our colorful, fun materials. When Forrest moved production out of her kitchen to Goodwill, we were a small side project for them. All our kits and materials fit into a closet! Within the last year, we've grown enough to have a dedicated work area designated for us and a large storage area was created to house our materials and finished inventory. There's plenty of room to grow too, the beauty of working with Goodwill is they can accommodate whatever capacity we need. We now have an amazing production manager, Theresa, who works full time our project, coordinating all the participants with various assembly tasks. Participant assembling kitsAll in all, we were really impressed, it truly feels like a perfect partnership. When we started the company, having a sustainable mission at our core was essential.  We wanted to create products we could believe in and build a workplace that supports our co-workers beyond just a paycheck. It makes it all worthwhile when we see our ideals and goals become reality! Paint with Wool kits in production!Wire and Bead Kit assembly