Land of Lincoln Goodwill CEO resigns amid layoff controversy

A day after Land of Lincoln Goodwill reversed a decision to lay off workers with disabilities because the state’s minimum wage is increasing, the organization’s president and CEO submitted her resignation.

Sharon Durbin, who had been with the local Goodwill for 13 years, quit on Thursday. She came under fire earlier this week after it was revealed 12 paid workers were set to be cut.

The move was made even though the organization has federal permission to pay workers with disabilities less than the minimum wage.

A number of state lawmakers expressed outrage over the decision, particularly since additional money was included in the state budget to help human services organizations cope with the increased wage. Moreover, the first increase in the minimum wage doesn’t take effect until January and then is phased in over a five-year period.

Some were angered because the agency was targeting minimum wage workers while Durbin is making nearly $165,000 a year and has seen a $30,000 salary increase in recent years. Durbin’s son also works for the organization at a salary of $96,747.

Responding to the fallout, Goodwill on Wednesday said it would back off layoffs.

“Our recent decision regarding the Voc Rehab program and the resulting harm it might have caused falls short of living up to our mission and we apologize for this error in judgment,” Durbin said Wednesday. “We are reversing the decision to realign our Voc Rehab program and those participants affected will return to their part time skills training program with pay.”

Goodwill officials on Thursday did not mention the layoff controversy in its statement about Durbin’s resignation.

Ron Culves, current vice president of finance, will serve as the nonprofit’s interim CEO.

“Land of Lincoln Goodwill’s Board is strongly committed to our mission, to our 400 employees and to those individuals with disabilities, veterans, at-risk youth, ex-offenders and those seeking job training assistance that we serve,” the board stated in a news release issued shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday. “The Board fully intends to seek out a strong, compassionate leader for our Goodwill organization who can energize our employees, expand our mission and who can provide the mission-driven leadership necessary to positively impact thousands of lives each year in central Illinois.”


Region: Springfield,Feeds,State,Politics,Central,City: Springfield,Region: Central

via State Government News – The State Journal-Register

July 18, 2019 at 06:52PM

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