Goodwill San Antonio

Goodwill helps change lives through the Power of Work.

Projects include solutions to help lift heavy objects, improve efficiency

SAN ANTONIO (April 21, 2017)


Trinity University sophomore engineering students will present their final semester projects as part of a 12-year partnership with Goodwill San Antonio. The partnership allows students to gain practical experience designing and showcasing products for real-world applications in Goodwill San Antonio’s operations. The goal of the program is to help people with disabilities perform their jobs more safely, easily and efficiently. The focus on overcoming disabilities is critical as more than 84 percent of Goodwill San Antonio’s operational team members have significant disabilities.


1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 24


Trinity University Campus, in the Auditorium on the first floor of the Chapman Center. Parking is available either on Oakmont (street parking), or in visitor spots along the inner parking drive segment that is located north of Rosemont (after you enter Trinity through the Oakmont entrance, take an immediate left and pass in front of CSI building). Campus map:


Student presentations will include the following projects, among others:

Lift and Tilt:  Goodwill places donations in large boxes called Gaylord containers.  These donations are later sorted by employees who empty the Gaylords onto tables.  Forklifts are currently used to raise the boxes, and employees then manually tilt the boxes over to empty the contents onto the table.  Trinity students have designed a mechanical device that is able to lift and rotate the Gaylord making it a more effective and safer means of emptying the Gaylord boxes.

Inventory Management:  Students have developed an inventory management system for Goodwill grounds maintenance equipment, specifically providing a means for employees to easily check-in, check-out, and update equipment status. 

Compact Gaylord Labeling Station:  Employees at Goodwill need to place labels on Gaylord boxes to classify the types of donations in each box after sorting.  Students have designed a portable station that includes markers, tape, labels, and a writing surface to provide employees with a central location for labeling needs.

Gaylord Internal Lifting Platform: Students have design a 'false-bottom' mechanism to be installed inside the Gaylord containers that would raise donations in the bottom of the box to a reachable height.  The internal lifting platform would raise the box bottom slowly as items are removed from the box making retrieval easier and safer for employees.

Shoe Pairing: Students have designed a mechanism/device to increase the efficiency of placing rubber bands around donated shoe pairs.  Shoe pairs need to be kept together in order to increase the value of the donated shoes.

Trinity’s sophomore engineering students partner with Goodwill San Antonio in support of the agency’s mission to help change lives through the power of work. Each academic year, students meet with Goodwill leadership to identify needs, and then design and develop adaptive equipment to help workers with disabilities perform their jobs more easily. Once designs are presented, Goodwill will decide at a later date which projects are feasible for use in the field.

For the third year, Trinity University is also partnering with San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind to design solutions for the visually impaired.

About Goodwill Industries of San Antonio

Serving San Antonio since 1945, Goodwill San Antonio is a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit social enterprise that helps change lives through the power of work. When you shop at or donate to Goodwill, 92.6 cents of every dollar funds local education, training and services to prepare people to find better jobs and build careers in diverse companies throughout the communities we serve. Together with the support of our generous community, partners and employers, Goodwill provides employment and related services to individuals each year in South Central Texas. In addition to operating retail stores, donation stations and Good Careers Centers in San Antonio, Cibolo, Kerrville, Laredo, New Braunfels, Seguin and surrounding areas, Goodwill operates Good Careers Academies and manages contracts for the U.S. government for services ranging from document management to grounds maintenance.

About Trinity University

Trinity University, one of the nation's top private undergraduate institutions, is known for its superior academic quality, personalized attention with outstanding faculty, exceptional resources, real-world preparation, and vibrant campus life. Trinity is a community that encourages students to discover, grow, and become passionate, productive individuals. Located in historic, culturally rich San Antonio, Trinity offers the most relevant education option for talented students today. For more information on Trinity University


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Goodwill San Antonio 406 W. Commerce San Antonio, TX 78207-3102 | 1-800-483-9455