Goodwill Overview

Founded 1902

Type Public

Headquarters Derwood, MD

Size Large Corporation

Industry Nonprofit

Goodwill is one of the world’s biggest nonprofits. They say they train people all over the world to find jobs, but that still doesn’t tell us: Does Goodwill hire felons?

At Relaunch Pad, we get in direct contact with companies to ask them if they hire former felons. We learn as much as we can to tip the odds in your favor on the job hunt!

Keep reading and you will find answers to these questions, and more:

  • Does Goodwill hire people with misdemeanors?
  • What is their recommended approach for applying?
  • Does Goodwill do background checks?
  • What entry-level jobs does Goodwill have?

Applying for jobs as a felon can seem hopeless. If nobody will give you a chance to work, how are you supposed to build yourself back up? We at Relaunch Pad understand this and that’s why we work hard to do research that helps those with records get hired. We even have people with records on our staff, so we follow through on our mission.

If you want to get a job at Goodwill with a felony, you’ve come to the right place. Goodwill is a gigantic non-profit with several locations in every state. If that sounds confusing, don’t worry — we’ve done the hard part. Keep reading and we’ll see how to get hired at Goodwill.

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Does Goodwill hire felons?

Confirmed felon employer

Fair Chance Business Pledge signatory

Goodwill storefront

Official company policy for hiring felons

Goodwill has the following statement on their website:

“We believe that anyone who wants to go to work deserves a second chance. We understand the challenges people with criminal backgrounds face as they re-enter the community and offer services for men, women and young adults who are committed to getting their lives back on track.”

That sounds right up our alley! We didn’t just stop there, though. We looked into the kinds of jobs they had available and researched a recommended approach on how to get hired.

Has Goodwill hired felons in the past?

Some companies might say they are open to hiring people with records, but don’t follow through. Luckily, Goodwill is not that kind of company. Does Goodwill hire felons? We found many accounts online of people being hired there with felony convictions.

Does Goodwill hire people with misdemeanors?

We were not able to find a specific example of someone with a misdemeanor having been hired here. However, since they hire former felons, it’s more than likely that people with less serious records get hired too.



Chesterfield, VA

73 days ago

Position SummaryContribute to the mission of Goodwill by assisting customers with donated goods. Responsible for the timely, accurate and safe pre-sorting of donations.Essential Duties(Other duties within the scope of this position may be…

Oakland, CA

272 days ago

Job DetailsLevelExperiencedJob LocationOakland Corporate Office – Oakland, CARemote TypeN/APosition TypeFull TimeEducation LevelNot SpecifiedSalary RangeUndisclosedTravel PercentageUp to 50% Job ShiftDayJob CategoryHuman ResourcesDescriptionJob…

Long Island City, NY

240 days ago

Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, Inc. Job Description Form Position Title: Clubhouse Generalist Location: Reports To: Clubhouse Director Cost Center: …


Total Reviews (0)


Total Interviews (0)

What are the chances of Goodwill hiring a felon?

Is Goodwill on the Ban the Box list?

The Ban the Box campaign lobbies to ban questions on applications which may let employers discriminate unfairly in the hiring process. That includes questions asking about criminal history on job applications. The Fair Chance Business Pledge, on the other hand, is a pledge companies make to not discriminate in their hiring process.

Goodwill as an entity is not part of these programs, but various locations have adopted these policies.

We found proof of a Goodwill branch joining The Fair Chance Business Pledge, so it’s possible that the Goodwill locations in your state could be a part of either of these programs.

Either way, we know Goodwill tries to help people who want to work!

Does Goodwill have special programs for hiring felons?

Good news. Goodwill has special programs for hiring felons!

On top of their pledge to hire people despite their records, they also have pre-release services that help people who haven’t been released yet develop job skills and gain the needed documents to start job hunting!

What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?

High likelihood of hiring felons

We at Relaunch Pad rank your odds of getting hired at Goodwill with a felony as high.

To start, Goodwill has a statement on their website specifically stating that they will give a chance to anyone who wants to work. We also found accounts online of people having gotten hired at Goodwill with a variety of different felonies. To cap it all off, Goodwill even has special programs for hiring felons!

How to get hired at Goodwill with a felony

What are some entry-level jobs?

Retail Associate: A cashier or clerk in a Goodwill store. Doesn’t require a degree or prior work experience. If you have the ability to do basic math and can meet Goodwill’s standard of a “positive public image”, you will have a chance of getting hired in this role.

General Laborer: In this role, you may be doing packing, housekeeping, assembly or sorting. It depends on your experience and where you get assigned. You need at least a GED and the ability to read complex instructions. Having prior factory or warehouse experience will set you apart!

Donated Goods Processor: For this job, you’ll sort donated items and organize them according to their sizes and styles. Goodwill says all you need is “some mathematical ability” to do the job. With that, it’s possible to get hired in this role, even without a GED! You just need to present a good public image to have a good shot at this job.

How to get hired at Goodwill with a felony

All this info is great, but if you want to get hired, you’re going to need a game plan. Here is our recommended approach for getting hired at Goodwill.


If you’re starting from square one and are looking into the positions that require basic math, start by brushing up on your skills. You should make an effort to learn to count change.

The same goes with writing. If it’s been a while since you’ve written anything by hand, you’ll want to write yourself some notes to get back in the habit.

If you’re looking into a general laborer position, you’re going to want to show that you have basic computer skills. Being able to talk about technical, factory or warehouse terms will show you’re knowledgeable and a good fit for the job, so try and do research about the position you’re applying for.

Once you’ve got a feel for the position and have reviewed your skills, you’re ready to write your resume.

Check out our guide here for some tailored tips for people with records!


Goodwill talks about presenting a good public image. A lot of families shop at Goodwill thrift stores, so make sure you show up to an interview in appropriate clothing. This doesn’t mean you need to dress up. Intact Jeans and a shirt that doesn’t have any inappropriate language or imagery should be fine.

Goodwill hires people from all kinds of backgrounds, so don’t feel like the interview is a test. As long as you are respectful and talk honestly about your background, the interview should go well.

It’s up to you if you want to disclose your felony during the interview. Chances are the person interviewing you might have a record too! This is one company where you shouldn’t feel the need to hide anything.

Talk about what you’ve learned about Goodwill. If you want to set yourself apart, read more about Goodwill’s mission. Showing up to any job knowing facts about the company will impress. Enthusiasm goes a long way! They are supposed to train people of all skill levels, so show them that you are very eager to learn and work.

Does Goodwill do background checks?

Does Goodwill do background checks?

Many sources show that Goodwill does go background checks.

What to know about background checks:

For some states, seven years is the farthest a background check can go back. If your felony happened seven years ago or more, it may not be a problem for you in these states:

  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Kansas*
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire*
  • New York*
  • Texas*
  • Washington*

(* sometimes certain pay or salary bracket positions require one.)

More good news. In the following states, felonies in which you were declared not guilty will not show up on a background check:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana (limited check)
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York

If you live in the following states, however, we have bad news. These states make your entire record visible to background checks. Guilty convictions, not-guilty — everything will be on the table. You may run into bigger challenges when applying here:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • DC
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana (extensive check)
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Company ratings

Goodwill has a rating of 2.9 rating out of 5 on Glassdoor, with only 40% recommended working there or approving of the CEO. This is slightly below average.

Employees enjoyed being a part of Goodwill’s mission and also said they have great benefits, including PTO!

What they didn’t like was the pay. Goodwill is a non-profit, so it is definitely not the place to go for giant paychecks.

What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?

Since certain Goodwill positions might have employees in close proximity to women and children, there are certain convictions that will have a very hard time getting hired.

Those with domestic violence convictions may run into a wall when the background check comes in. The same goes for any sexual violence convictions.

If you have any kind of convictions involving children, you will have a hard time getting hired.

Since some positions involve handling money or valuable clothing, theft or fraud charges might be looked down upon too.

Does Goodwill drug test?

Online sources have shown us that Goodwill does drug test before hiring employees. They also give drug tests for workplace injuries.

Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!

Were you able to get a job at Goodwill with a felony? Share your tips for getting hired below!

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