Goodwill honored Casella Waste Systems, Inc. with its Spirit of Goodwill Award last week for its innovative work that prioritizes the sustainability of the earth and the stability of people.
Casella Chairman and CEO, John W. Casella was on hand to receive the award along with Senior Vice President of Strategy and Development, Paul Ligon.
For the last seven years, Goodwill Northern New England and Casella have shared knowledge and resources in an ever-changing world of resource management and job creation. The award recognizes the efforts the company has made in making Vermont more sustainable.
“Casella helped bring important workforce programs to Vermont, and John Casella walks his talk by hiring people from those programs, which often means giving much-needed second chances to our neighbors,” said Rich Cantz, President and CEO Goodwill NNE.
Goodwill and Casella quickly realized that a unique and progressive collaboration could help build stronger communities. Goodwill’s Job Connection program was that sweet spot. Job Connection offers holistic, wrap-around support to every client and stays with them for as long as they’d like — all free of charge. The program focuses on the whole person and understands that oftentimes it’s not just a clean résumé keeping them from a great career, it’s also complicated barriers such as past addiction, long-term poverty, mental health issues and more. Job Connection provides both a Career Adviser and a Life Navigator (social worker) to help each person work through all of life’s challenges until they can reach personal stability.
As one of Vermont’s largest employers, Casella knows these challenges well. As a Vermont native, John Casella has committed his entire career to building a company focused on sustainability.
According to Casella, focusing on economic and environmental sustainability is not just something that occurs in their waste and recycling operations.
“We expect that sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do company-wide. From the people on our team and the infrastructure that supports them, to the customers and the communities we serve, when we treat everything and everyone with the same level of respect, treat them as though they are all integral parts to a complex solution, that is true sustainability,” Casella said.
That focus on sustainability is ultimately what led Casella to partner with Goodwill in bringing Job Connection to Rutland.
We view Job Connection as vitally important to making a difference in the lives of Vermonters,” Casella said. “We’ve hired people through Job Connection, giving local people a second chance, and it’s been a win-win. We get a great team member, the employee gains pride and stability from a great job, and they know they have support from Goodwill when they need it.”
Casella is committed to investing in its communities to help address issues that impact everyone. Helping introduce and eventually establishing the Rutland based Job Connection program is one of the many ways that Casella is helping Goodwill NNE. The company’s investment of volunteered time and industry resources has been key to furthering Goodwill’s sustainability goals. As an industry leader in recycling, Casella has helped the nonprofit with operational efficiency and safety standards, allowing Goodwill to make the most use of every donation.
“We could not help as many people in Vermont as we do without this partnership,” Cantz said. “Casella is demonstrating how much one local company can uplift a community. We hope others follow their lead.”
The Spirit of Goodwill Award celebrates a person or organization that embodies Goodwill Northern New England’s values of sustainability of the earth and the stability of people.