Goodwill's OIT program celebrates Christmas

It was the Christmas party that almost wasn't.

"I'm glad I'm back working from OIT, and I'm glad I came back. I like working here," said Alan Wood.

Most of the employees at Goodwill Industries' Opportunities In Tyler branch made it to the party. About a month ago, dozens of OIT's special needs employees were laid off because of a lack of work.

But, employees say thanks to our story - and several new contracts - nearly 95% of the workforce has been rehired.

"This program provides a safe haven for them to come work, enjoy, have some self-worth, they can earn a paycheck and it makes them feel just so much better about themselves," said Steven Houston, the operations manager at OIT.

The program did not expect to reopen its doors until January. It employs nearly 60 disabled East Texans.

Layron Livingston, reporting.