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Long Beach, CA—March 1, 2017—Former Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe and individuals who’ve transformed their lives through Goodwill’s job programs were honored last Wednesday at the “Celebrate the Power of Work” Awards Dinner presented by Goodwill, Serving the People of Southern Los Angeles County (SOLAC). The awards event is held each year to honor a deserving community leader as well as inspiring individuals who now lead successful careers after graduating from Goodwill job programs. In addition, Goodwill awarded its Employee of the Year at this event.
Radio personality Pat Prescott of 94.7 The Wave hosted the awards dinner, which was held at the Hyatt Long Beach Hotel in the Shoreline Village area of downtown Long Beach. The event also recognized Goodwill’s Employer of the Year and Community Partner of the Year for their role in hiring Goodwill job program graduates.
Knabe received Goodwill’s Community Leader of the Year award for the two decades he spent as a beloved Supervisor for the County’s Fourth District that oversees more than two million constituents. Throughout his many years as a community leader, Knabe was respected for the strength of his grassroots support and considerable experience in local government that made him a highly regarded voice, not only at home in the Fourth District, but also in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. He served as a regional leader for the environment, transportation and the arts, and he was known as a national leader on the issue of child sex trafficking. In 2001, Knabe established the County’s Safe Surrender Program that has saved 150 babies since its inception.
Two participants of Goodwill’s job programs were honored at the awards event for turning around their lives through their transformative careers. These award recipients were: Brenda Peters, Graduate of the Year, and Jose Pulido, Achiever of the Year. Kip Sattergren was honored as Goodwill’s Employee of the Year.
Brenda Peters is a security officer for the Port of Los Angeles, where she is a well-respected member of the Port’s security team. While Brenda appreciates the career support, she experienced quite the opposite just a few short years ago. That’s when she found herself back in the job market after taking off two years to care for her elderly parents. Brenda believed that, because of her age, it was difficult to find the right career opportunity. However, after enrolling in Goodwill’s Loss Prevention Training Program, she eventually landed her job at the Port. Brenda is now the elected secretary for a security professionals union, and she hopes to one day work in Homeland Security.
Jose Pulido has received a succession of promotions since being hired by Northgate Market as a teenager. When he was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 17, Jose was referred to Goodwill’s Supported Employment Program by the Harbor Regional Center to connect him with a job that would build his confidence and teach him how to thrive in the workplace. Goodwill placed him in a part-time position with Northgate Market, where he quickly learned the ropes and became a productive worker. Jose now works full-time at the grocery store, and his managers have recently shared that it’s an honor to work with him.
Kip Sattergren has enjoyed working in a number of roles for Goodwill over the past decade. Yet, as valuable as his time as been at Goodwill, Kip’s life before joining the organization was starkly different. He struggled with alcoholism for many years, resulting in chronic unemployment that eventually left him homeless. When Kip entered a rehab center, he was required to take daily walks as he planned to reenter society. He walked near Goodwill’s Long Beach headquarters, where he imagined opportunities that awaited him. After completing rehab, he applied for an entry-level job at Goodwill. Today, as a dock worker, Kip is known for his strong work ethic and performing his duties with buoyant enthusiasm.
The Employer of the Year award was presented to SMG Long Beach for its commitment to providing hiring opportunities to students participating in Goodwill’s Career Services for the Culinary Arts Program at Cerritos College and Long Beach City College. Renaissance Long Beach Hotel received the Community Partner of the Year award for its role in providing career-track opportunities to graduates of Goodwill’s Loss Prevention Training Program.
The awards event received a broad level of sponsorship support from the local business and civic community. The event’s Diamond Sponsors were Frank and Lisa Chapman; the Platinum Sponsor was the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; and the Gold Sponsor was Executive Control Insurance Services. These and the other event sponsors can be viewed here: www.ThinkGood.org/PowerOfWork/
Goodwill SOLAC is a nonprofit organization that transforms donated goods into job training, education and placement services for individuals with barriers to employment. Goodwill SOLAC serves 22 cities and communities throughout Southern Los Angeles County. Goodwill SOLAC’s main facility—located at 800 W. Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach—houses its administrative offices, training programs, processing operations, transportation fleet, LiNKS Sign Language & Interpreting Services, a retail store and its e-commerce operations. To learn more about Goodwill career services or to find your nearest Goodwill store or donation center, visit www.ThinkGood.org.