History of Goodwill Industries of Acadiana, Inc.
Goodwill Industries of Acadiana, Inc. began doing business in Acadiana in 1990. The agency was formed out of the State of Louisiana's decision not to fund sheltered workshops any longer. The Board of Directors of what was then Multi-Resources was faced with the choice of having their facility closed or having someone take over the management of the agency. Closure would have resulted in approximately 35 individuals being sent home with no place to work. The Board Chairman called New Orleans Goodwill Executive Director Jim Collins.
Mr. Collins contacted the Executive Director in Sarasota, Florida, Mr. Don Roberts, with the dilemma. Mr. Roberts and the Manasota Goodwill Board of Directors had just completed planning for their agency. One of the resulting goals was to seek opportunities to serve as missionaries in establishing new Goodwill's where needed. The Acadiana opportunity fit right into their plans.
Sandra Purgahn and Charles Purgahn were transferred from Goodwill Industries in Orlando, Florida to assume the roles of Chief Operating Officer and Director of Business Services, respectively. Goodwill Acadiana was established using the prototype Job Connection and Community Training Center models.
In June 1996, Goodwill Industries of Acadiana, Inc. became an autonomous agency and was voted into the membership of Goodwill Industries International. Today, Goodwill Industries of Acadiana employs over 160 people and operates 19 Donation and Retail Centers.