SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – SunTrust recently awarded a grant of $10,000 to Goodwill Manasota to promote and expand the reach of the financial literacy training for low- and moderate-income workers as well as to adolescents in the community through a pilot program funded in 2014 and 2015 by SunTrust. The funding has enabled Goodwill to continue to expand and export the Goodwill Financial Literacy Program into the community.
The pilot program included classes for budgeting and debt reduction, and provided tools and resources for participants to make sound financial decisions. Goodwill Manasota – which has offered financial literacy classes for its employees for over a decade – will now be able to make the program available to additional neighboring companies and organizations, including the Children’s Guardian Fund, which provides resources to children and teenagers in the foster care system. With this funding, Goodwill can provide financial literacy classes to adolescents ages 13 to 19.
A needs-assessment survey of approximately 800 of Goodwill’s local employees and more than 1,500 individuals assisted by Goodwill’s Job Connection – its free employment agency – showed that more than 30 percent are seeking assistance in improving financial literacy while repairing and building credit; nearly 25 percent are in need of affordable housing; 20 percent are behind on monthly bills or rent; 11% can’t afford the cost of a post-secondary education; and others need assistance to pay for food, loans, utilities and necessities such as clothing. According to the Needs Assessment Survey, lack of childcare, lack of transportation, and lack of funds for education are the three greatest obstacles to financial and employment stability.
“We know that employment is just the first step in the long road to financial security. If someone has never learned how to budget or been taught financial literacy, the chances for self-sufficiency are greatly reduced,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “Even with the recent reduction in local unemployment rates, programs such as our Financial Literacy Program are still urgently needed. We appreciate the support of generous partners like SunTrust as we strive for innovative ways to strengthen, employ and educate our community for this and future generations.”
The grant from SunTrust will be utilized to increase the reach and impact of the financial literacy coach at Goodwill. The goal of the program, which helps participants better understand topics such as credit counseling, online banking and consumer credit, is to provide the financial education and skills needed to successfully manage personal finances and transition from poverty to economic independence.
“SunTrust is excited to continue our support of Goodwill Manasota as it works to strengthen financial literacy in our region,” said Josh McCoy, Manatee County market president of SunTrust Bank. “This grant will provide significant benefits to area employers as it positively impacts their workforces, which will serve to strengthen our community. SunTrust has had a long standing partnership with Goodwill to deliver financial literacy and career development skills through workshops addressing interview skills, job fairs, and financial literacy classes. Through our onUp.com movement and partnering with like-minded organizations, SunTrust looks forward to championing our purpose of lighting the way to financial well-being.”
For its partnership and support of Goodwill’s mission of changing lives through the power of work, SunTrust was recognized during Goodwill’s recent Ambassador Recognition Luncheon as the organization’s “Education Partner of the Year.”
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2015, Goodwill Manasota served 22,739 people, placed 961 people in jobs and assisted 358 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 41 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.