Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania today announced the winners of its 2018 Power of Work Awards, which honor employers and organizations for their efforts to hire and help individuals with disabilities and employment barriers. Selected from 60 nominees, the winners are:

HIRE Category Winners

Busy Beaver – Busy Beaver was founded locally in 1962 with just three lumber yards located in Clairton, Verona and Carnegie. By 2013, they were a 14-store chain. Through its partnership with Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Busy Beaver provides ongoing experiences for students ages 16-21 by giving them exposure to and experience with different types of work. Busy Beaver also extended training shifts and added additional shifts in order to make them more convenient for students. 

David L. Lawrence Convention Center – The LEED® Platinum Certified David L. Lawrence Convention Center (DLCC) is managed by SMG, the world leader in venue management, marketing and development. The DLCC is committed to building and retaining a workforce that mirrors the diverse communities they serve. Through reasonable accommodations in work schedules, portable job skills, clothing and transportation allowances, the DLCC has achieved an adaptable and holistic job experience for all of their employees.

Eat’n Park Hospitality Group – Since 1949, Eat'n Park has been a family-owned restaurant chain, serving guests across Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. At the heart of Eat’n Park are more than 8,000 team members committed to providing friendly, attentive service and supporting a growing number of community initiatives. During 2017, Eat’n Park opened their doors to graduating high-school students with disabilities; fourteen students were given the opportunity to gain work experience in a real-world setting.

HELP Category Winner

Petco District 68 – With more than 50 years of service to pet parents, Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that obsesses about delivering health and happy experiences for pets and the people who love them. Petco District 68 partnered with Goodwill in early 2017 to explore ways to begin Work-Based Learning Experiences (WBLEs) for graduating high school students with disabilities in their stores. After working together to identify tasks available for students, it quickly became obvious that hosting these students would be a natural win-win.

Winner of the inaugural Goodwill Power of Work Legacy Award

UPMC –– UPMC’s mission is to serve the community by providing outstanding patient care and to shape tomorrow’s health system through clinical and technological innovation, research, and education. UPMC was chosen to receive the 2018 Goodwill Power of Work Legacy Award based on:

  • An astonishing, unmatched seven-time Power of Work awards.
  • A continuous effort to go the extra mile to offer employment and employment support to people with disabilities and other barriers.
  • Numerous workforce development programs created in partnership with Goodwill and other local human service agencies to sustain a culture of diversity and inclusion; including Project SEARCH and the Partnership On Workforce Readiness and Retention (POWRR) program.


The winners of the 2018 Power of Work Awards will be honored at a ceremony and luncheon on March 20, 2018 in the ballroom of the Sheraton Station Square. Participating in the event, along with Goodwill clients and representatives of the winning organizations, will be Stu Wise, Regional President of ComDoc and honorary chairperson of the 2018 Power of Work Awards, and Bill Flanagan, Chief Corporate Relations Officer for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, emcee.

This year’s awards ceremony marks the 21st recognition program. Goodwill created the Power of Work Awards program in 1997 to acknowledge employers and organizations that make a major, positive impact on the lives of people with barriers to employment by providing employment opportunities and support programs. More than 50 different employers and organizations have won the award.

CONTACT:     David J. Tobiczyk, Vice President, Marketing & Development

                          412-632-1942 or david.tobiczyk@goodwillswpa.org