Rappahannock Goodwill and Plants Map Collaborate

We’re thrilled to share that we’ve teamed up with Rappahannock Goodwill Industries in Fredericksburg, VA and are now sharing space with other local companies in their Collaboration Zone.

Over the next couple of months, the Plants Map team will be training workers at Goodwill to use our computers and laser engraving equipment to produce our horticultural plant tags and signs as part of their job skills training program.

Goodwill1024After being in their building for only a few days, I have to say that there is an impressive flurry of activity going on in their workforce training facility. There are workers sorting donated goods brought in by the community to be sold in the stores. Other people are checking electronics to make sure they are working. There are thousands of books being sorted by content topics and quality. Furniture is being moved. Trucks are being unloaded and then filled again. People are shredding things, cutting things and sewing them back together into new products. There is something moving all of the time. It is quite amazing!

In our discussions with the leadership here as we were making plans on this venture, we learned that they were interested in bringing in more digital and online training into their job skills training program. That’s where Plants Map fits in. We’re looking forward to figuring ways our work fits with Goodwill’s mission of giving back to the local community.

Here’s the ‘official’ press release that was published today. Look forward to more news as we start this new chapter in the growth of our startup!



Tech Startup PlantsMap.com Collaborates with Goodwill Industries to Manufacture Interactive Plant Tags

Posted: Oct 23, 2015 7:11 AM EDT

PlantsMap.com and Goodwill Industries help workers learn new skills while building the Web’s largest community of gardeners, horticulturalists and plant lovers.

Fredericksburg, VA (PRWEB) October 23, 2015

PlantsMap.com, a social network and library of plant information contributed by universities, businesses, and plant enthusiasts, has teamed up with Rappahannock Goodwill Industries on an innovative workforce development initiative.

Workers in Rappahannock Goodwill’s job skills training program will receive training from Plants Map staff, and by the start of 2016 will handle all aspects of the manufacturing and shipping of Plants Map’s durable horticultural signs and tags. These tags display a QR code allowing anyone with a smartphone to access that plant’s unique Web page on PlantsMap.com. They are the tools that connect plants in the ground with the rich array of plant information and community on PlantsMap.com.

Rappahannock Goodwill has brought PlantsMap.com into its Collaboration Zone, a unique area of its new headquarters in Fredericksburg, Va., that brings Goodwill workers together with groups from around the community who can help further Goodwill’s mission of providing job training to individuals with barriers to employment, particularly those with disabilities.

Rappahannock Goodwill’s collaboration with tech startup Plants Map gives its workers an opportunity to gain new technical skills and be part of a fast-growing business. These workers will learn to operate a state-of-the-art laser engraver that etches the aluminum tags, which are made of the same materials used to label aircraft parts and made to withstand extreme conditions. They will also handle the inventory, packaging and shipping of these signs and tags.

“Rappahannock Goodwill is excited about our relationship with Plants Map,” said Chief Financial Officer Donnie Tolson, who will serve as Rappahannock Goodwill’s chief executive officer starting in January 2016. “We are always looking to serve businesses with staffing needs. Goodwill can provide a workforce of motivated individuals with disabilities or other barriers to employment. With Plants Map in our Collaboration Zone, they can get to know the workforce we offer and we can better understand their labor needs.”

This collaboration will allow Plants Map to increase the number of horticultural tags it makes for its growing community of plant enthusiasts and professionals, which in one year has grown to more than 1,000 universities, businesses, individuals, schools, plant societies, garden clubs and similar groups.

“Almost everyone I talk to about Plants Map has plant photos on their phone, or a story about plants or a gardening project that has had a real impact on their community. Our interactive tags connect people with those really cool stories,” said Plants Map co-founder and CEO Bill Blevins. “Collaborating with Rappahannock Goodwill to produce them gives us the ability to scale our manufacturing process. We provide training on our computers and laser engravers and they provide the workforce. It’s a win-win. Social good, job creation and connecting more people with plants.”

About Plants Map

PlantsMap.com is a community for anyone interested in plants, gardens and green spaces. The mobile-friendly website allows individuals and organizations to create and manage digital plant journals and botanical collections with photos, plant details, notes and maps. Plants Map also produces interactive, affordable and durable horticultural tags that allow gardeners to label their plants and display a QR code that anybody with a smartphone can scan to connect with that plant’s PlantsMap.com profile. Founded in Spotsylvania, Va., in 2014, PlantsMap.com hosts more than 1,000 profiles for universities, businesses, individuals, schools, plant societies and garden clubs and more than 50,000 plant stories. As the premier community for plant enthusiasts on the Web, every day PlantsMap.com is Connecting People with Plants.

About Rappahannock Goodwill Industries Inc.

Rappahannock Goodwill Industries, Inc. is a private not-for-profit organization that serves the City of Fredericksburg and a 12-county region. It provides work opportunities and job training to people with barriers to employment, particularly those with disabilities. Its operations include a commercial laundry, off-site custodial and administrative services, a packaging and assembly operation, four Job Help Centers, twelve Goodwill stores, a Goodwill Outlet, and numerous Attended Donation Centers.