Michael Pollack Gives Goodwill $250,000 Gift
November 24, 2010
The Arizona Republic
Real-estate mogul Michael Pollack has donated a quarter-million dollars to Goodwill of Central Arizona, the largest direct cash gift in the organization's history.Pollack said three or four of those retail st
"It's a very, very nice donation . . . an opportunity to invest more in training programs to put more people to work," said Jim Teter, president and chief executive officer of Goodwill of Central Arizona.
Pollack, a longtime supporter of Goodwill, speaking in a metaphor, said he believed less in giving people a fish dinner and more in teaching them how to fish, to become self-sufficient.
"Goodwill does such incredible things," he said, adding that he knew the money would be put to good use.
"I like to know where the money is going and who's in charge of it. I want to know the money is getting in the right hands."
Last year, 25,000 people participated in the non-profit's job-preparation activities, and 6,700 did get jobs, Teter said. This year, 29,000 are preparing for jobs.
Goodwill provides free help with job searches, resume writing and job training to those who face barriers to employment, such as those who lack a high-school diploma or have been unemployed at least a year. It also helps seniors re-entering the workforce to update their skills.
The organization has 11 career centers that provide classes, including a three-week course that teaches computer and customer-service skills and earns four credits from GateWay Community College.
An advisory council representing about 25 businesses provides advice and helps with job fairs. A recent fair drew 600 applicants to talk to 43 potential employers.
Pollack's Mesa-based company is one of Arizona's largest privately held shopping-center owners and operators. In 2007, Pollack received the Legacy of Goodwill Award for his support of Goodwill.