Madison Goodwill Program Participant Receives Wisconsin Job Honor Award

David Brann, one of the many amazing people served by Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin received the Wisconsin Job Honor Award on November 29. The award celebrates Wisconsinites who have overcome barriers to employment, and the employers who hire them. Launched in Iowa in 2014, the awards are expanding nationally under the banner of America’s Job Honor Awards.

David (right) with his boss Chef Evan Dannells.

David has autism, and communication can be challenging for him. He was quiet when he first started working, but has since found his fit as pre-cook at Lucille, a Madison-based restaurant. David enjoys his job saying, “From the first day, I just started loving it more and more.”

“We’ve watched him come out of his shell, and that really felt good,” said executive chef Evan Dannells, “He has improved everyone’s life around here.” Evan partners with Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin to recruit workers with disabilities into the restaurant industry, which is short on talent. “This is actually just an alternative labor force,” said Evan, “I can’t stress enough that it isn’t a free ride. David’s an actual employee who has actual expectations, and he’s productive.”

The Wisconsin Job Honor Awards were presented during the Future Wisconsin Summit hosted by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and sponsored by Milwaukee-based ManpowerGroup. Several hundred Wisconsin business leaders assembled at Monona Terrace to witness the ceremony and watch biographical videos of the honoree efforts to win life-changing jobs. The video of David and Evan does a wonderful job of not only showcasing David’s achievements, but noting how Goodwill® works with employers to support a diverse and inclusive workforce. You can watch the video here.

Goodwill SCWI is a local nonprofit serving communities within a 14-county region. Each region is an independent 501(c)(3) organization.