BRADENTON, FL – In 2015, Goodwill Manasota launched the Tech Connection program. The goal was three-fold: to refurbish and resell computers and accessories as a new source of revenue, to keep additional items out of landfills, and to offer an educational product to the community at extremely affordable prices.
As the program celebrates its third anniversary, Goodwill is proud to report it is succeeding on all three fronts. In 2017, Tech Connection revenues reached $70,883 and are on a blistering pace for 2018, with over $17,000 in January. More than 208,000 pounds of e-waste was kept from area landfills last year. And as Goodwill is a licensed Microsoft registered refurbisher, all computers are installed with the Microsoft Digital Literacy Program, which helps improve basic computer skills.
While Tech Connection has been headquartered at Goodwill’s Ranch Lake store (8750 E. State Road 70, Bradenton), the organization is working on expanding the program. Phase One has seen Goodwill stores stocked with an assortment of wires that fit multiple computer needs, including HDMI, USB, phone chargers, power cords, laptop chargers, RCA cords, and networking cables. During Phase Two, the organization will begin selling computers in all retail locations.
Equipment sold through Tech Connection includes computers, gaming systems and accessories, turntables, speakers, and other components. Two years ago, Goodwill expanded the program to incorporate services including virus removal, data recovery, installations, repairs, and upgrades. The costs for services – which are only available at Ranch Lake – are: $20 for diagnostic testing or data backup and transfer; $50 for virus removal, operating system installations and upgrades, or data recovery; and $1 per disc for Blu-ray, DVD, CD and game disc repair. Additional repairs start at $40 per hour.
“Tech Connection enhances our ability to make technology more readily available and affordable, and provide the tools community members need to achieve success,” said Donn Githens, Goodwill Manasota’s vice president of operations. “We have built a team and menu of options that we feel will help us continue to provide world-class customer service and bring in an even wider variety of customers and donors as we expand the program.”
For more information or to make an appointment, call the Tech Connection office at (941) 405-1850.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2017, Goodwill Manasota served 11,672 people, placed 555 people in jobs, assisted 360 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce, and provided 19,540 hours of on-the-clock training for its employees. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 41 million pounds out of the landfill. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.