Goodwill® Celebrates Our Heroes Year Round By Connecting Veterans and their Families with Employment and Job Training Opportunities
ROCKVILLE, MD — On Veterans Day, our nation’s heroes are recognized and celebrated by individuals, groups and organizations across the country. At Goodwill, we show veterans our appreciation year-round by offering services that can improve quality of life, such as employment placement, job training and financial wellness opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is vital in the veteran community as 326,000 of our nation’s heroes remain unemployed. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that each year, 200,000 service men and women return to civilian life. For many, the transition is a difficult one, whether due to physical and emotional disabilities, a skill set that is mismatched for the current labor market, or a lack of access to health care, child care and housing.
Goodwill understands that successful reintegration is a team effort. In 1947, Goodwill entered into an agreement with the Veteran’s Administration (VA) to receive referrals and offer training to veterans with disabilities at its locations nationwide as veterans transitioned after World War II. Since that time, Goodwill has provided a variety of services to veterans and military family members to ensure their specific challenges are addressed. Last year, local Goodwill organizations around the country served more than 67,950 veterans and military families through the programs and initiatives they provide to their communities. Examples include:
- Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette (Portland, OR) supports veterans and their families through various events and initiatives such as its Job Connection program. In 2018, nearly 26,300 free job services were provided to veterans and their families such as job placement guidance, English as a Second Language and computer skills. The Goodwill also supported veterans in one of the largest community-driven events in the region, The Tillamook Veterans Stand Down, which provides veterans with access to employment and vocational information, legal and medical services, and more.
- Goodwill Industries of San Diego County supports veterans and their families through career assessment, assistance with basic needs (nutrition and shelter), job training, family support, and job placement assistance. Last year, they provided employment and job training opportunities to more than 205 veterans and their families. In addition to placing veterans into employment, Goodwill Industries of San Diego County helps with the successful transition from military to civilian life through individualized plans that encompass the individual’s goals, family goals and long-term financial stability. Goodwill Industries of San Diego County also partners with many veteran service organizations to provide wrap-around services as well as referrals to those in need of additional services.
- Goodwill Industries of Houston (TX) has been providing employment and job training services to local veterans and their families since 2006 through its programs including, Veterans’ Employment and Training Services (VETS), Women-Vets program offering housing, case management and supportive services, VETS Galveston, and Operation: GoodJobs. In that time, the local Goodwill has served more than 24,000 veterans and their families.
Community-based Goodwill organizations in targeted states have customized employment and training opportunities for women veterans, a rapidly expanding subset of the veteran population through initiatives such as Operation: GoodJobs (OGJ), which launched in 2013. Initially and primarily funded by the Walmart Foundation with support from USAA®, the grant initiative supports 10 community-based Goodwill organizations with funds to provide tools and resources that equip veterans and military families with advanced labor market information; access to employment, training, credentials and career advancement opportunities; financial wellness resources; and more. These resources enable veterans and their families to gain financial stability and transition successfully back into civilian life. This initiative also amplifies services customized for women veterans with a goal of connecting them with meaningful employment at an average wage of $15.48. To date, 13,679 veterans and military family members have enrolled; more than 4,173 have maintained employment for six months and 2,680 have maintained employment for a year or longer.
“Goodwill is proud to provide opportunities for people who may experience challenges to finding employment, including veterans with disabilities like myself,” said Pamela Johnson, veterans and military families services program manager at Goodwill Industries International. “Grant initiatives such as Operation: GoodJobs (OGJ) have provided employment and job training opportunities to more than 13,679 veterans and military family members through the Walmart Foundation’s and United Services Automobile Association (USAA)’s financial and sector-strengthening support. As a result, Goodwill has been able to document key learnings, expertise, partnerships and operational resources to improve veteran and military services.”
One example of an OGJ success story is Patricia. A struggling United States Air Force veteran, Patricia walked into a job connection center with overwhelming fear that she might get evicted from her home and would not be able to provide for her three children.
Patricia served with honorable military service working in logistics and on the flight line. Since getting out of the Air Force, Patricia worked in logistics and continued her education to expand her knowledge and skillset. Patricia secured a government job at the Naval Weapons Station but needed to take time off once she became pregnant with twins.
Unemployed and struggling to meet her financial obligations, Patricia approached her local Goodwill’s OGJ program. The team provided Patricia with rental assistance, preventing eviction and buying some time for Patricia to get back on her feet. They also provided her with manufacturing training.
Patricia completed the manufacturing program and became a CNC Machine Operator and CNC Machine Inspector. She received one-on-one coaching on her résumé and interview etiquette, skills she then used to interview with several companies on the last day of her manufacturing training.
With help from OGJ, Patricia earned employment at a local manufacturing company, secured stable housing and has financial stability.
See how Goodwill is changing veterans and military families’ lives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ejd6i8YKNc&feature=youtu.be
If you know a veteran who would benefit from these services or would like additional information about the Operation: GoodJobs initiative, visit https://www.goodwill.org/operation-goodjobs/; call 800-GOODWILL or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 157 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 12 other countries. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps people find employment, Goodwill is recognized with GuideStar’s highest rating, the Platinum Seal of Approval.
Local Goodwill organizations offer employment opportunities, job placement and training services, and other community-based programs, funded by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,300 stores and at shopgoodwill.com®. Last year, more than 34 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill services, and more than 1.6 million people received in-person services.
For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, visit goodwill.org, or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube: GoodwillIntl.
Senior Director, Public Relations
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5266