Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest (Goodwill) develops a Community Needs Assessment (CNA) every few years. The CNA gathers input from our communities, our employees, our participants, and our partners. This input helps us understand what people need and what services are missing. Goodwill may be able to meet some of these needs and services. So, the CNA helps us decide where to put our resources and support.

1. Learn about needs in our region.
2. Identify gaps between community needs and services.
3. Identify populations in need of Goodwill's services.
4. Identify new opportunities to partner with other agencies to meet service gaps.
Demographic Data

County Data, provided by Census Bureau, Social Security Administration, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017-2021)


Goodwill worked with an external partner to conduct unbiased, neutral research for the CNA. In addition to gathering regional and demographic data, the partner conducted surveys and town hall meetings in different communities. These surveys and town halls included input from Goodwill employees, Board members, program participants, and community partners.

In our survey and town halls, we asked people about the challenges in their community related to employment, housing or leading a fulfilling life. Below is a summation of the most common needs people talked about.

Affordable Housing
Many people find it hard to get homes they can afford, either to rent or buy. There aren’t many homes available, so rent goes up, and it’s harder for people to qualify to rent or buy.

Living Wage Jobs
Wages are not going up as much as the cost of other things. This is making it tough even for people who are working full time. More people who are working full time need public assistance to balance their household budgets. Some communities lack job training opportunities, which makes it hard for people who want to be promoted or get a more skilled job.

Employment Barriers
People who have a disability or a history of breaking the law say they face challenges finding work because others treat them unfairly. Even though not many people are without jobs, there aren’t many chances for those without experience, even for basic jobs. Some people can’t work because of a disability, no transportation, or a lack of services to help them recover.

Limited Access to Mental Health Services
There aren’t enough mental health services, making it harder for people to keep up with the rising costs of living. Some people feel alone and stressed because they don’t have enough support.

Target Population

The need for Goodwill’s programs will increase.

The number of people living in the Inland Northwest will continue to grow over the next five years, based on U.S. Census Bureau data. The demand for Goodwill’s programs is likely to increase as the population in our region increases.

Our communities will become more diverse.

Goodwill should continue periodic assessment of its Workforce and Family Services programs to keep meeting the changing needs of the population.

People who need Goodwill’s programs also need help with transportation.

In smaller and mid-size communities, fewer public transportation options and lack of personal vehicles has resulted in limited access to employment, health care and social services.

Technical/professional training programs are needed.

Living wage employment is the highest need in every community in Goodwill’s region. Current employment training programs don’t build the technical or professional skills needed to get a living wage job in the region.

Program Quality

Help for long-term unemployed people.

People who have been unemployed for a long time have life barriers that need ongoing support services.

Diversity training.

As the population becomes more diverse in the Inland Northwest, ongoing cultural competency and diversity training will help Goodwill staff provide a welcoming and supportive environment for participants.

More information about Goodwill.

There is opportunity to grow marketing efforts to better inform each community of Goodwill’s unique offerings.

Opportunities for Future Growth

People named these top three needs to be addressed in the next three to five years:

  1. Living wage jobs
  2. Affordable housing
  3. Mental health and substance abuse treatment services

There are a variety of funding sources, programs and partnerships Goodwill could meet these key needs in the region.


Goodwill shares the results of the Community Needs Assessment with our board of directors, employees, community partners, and the community in general. Our hope is that the report can serve as a guide for others as we strive to foster inclusive and impactful services that change lives and strengthen communities.

Goodwill uses the CNA as a guide for decision making about our own programs and services for the community and our own employees, as well as decisions about funding and budgeting for services.

Find the entire 2023 Community Needs Assessment report here.
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