Goodwill's Good Bikes program can get you a great deal

Goodwill program creates job opportunities

DENVER -- It may be Bike to Work Day Wednesday, but one organization in Colorado is using bikes to put people to work.

Goodwill's Good Bikes program has eight employees, all adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, who learn the mechanical skills to do simple repairs and tune-ups on bicycles.

It's a huge benefit to Goodwill, helping process hundreds of bikes that people donate.

"A lot of them are in pretty poor condition so this was a way was to teach these individuals a specific set of skills they can use to perform a job," said Jessica Hudgins Smith of Goodwill.

The employees are also trained on customer service skills. Once the bikes are fixed, they're sold to customers at a bargain. Prices run $50 or less for adult bikes and $25 or less for children's bikes.

Nick Willis worked in a regular bike shop before coming to Goodwill to supervise and train the employees in the Good Bikes program. He says it has been rewarding to teach people a new skill.

"We just start with baby steps, we start with kids bikes, salvage them first so they figure out how to move from back to front of the bike just by taking stuff apart," Willis said.

One of the employees, Lawrence James, says he loves his job.

"This is like really awesome, I just love it," he said. "I'm blessed."

Customers can schedule an appointment to check out the bikes at Goodwill headquarters in Denver, or to schedule a tune up for their own bike.  

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