SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – For the past three years, through its Veterans Services Program, Goodwill Manasota has been working to help returning servicemen and women reintegrate into their families, communities and jobs. Goodwill has helped more than 1,200 veterans since the program began in 2013. Recently, two of the team members who have dedicated themselves to assisting our returning heroes have reached new heights in their own career achievements.
Edwin D. Robinson came to Goodwill Manasota in February of 2015 – he began as the veterans career development facilitator and was soon promoted to veterans services advisor in September of 2015. Recently, he was elected as secretary of the Manatee County Veterans Council for the 2016-17 year.
Robinson served in the U.S. Air Force from 1990-1992. He was an air traffic controller, stationed at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base in South Carolina. He received an honorable discharge upon completion of his service.
Robinson, who graduated from Keiser University in April 2016 with an Associate degree in general studies, will begin classes at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee in August. He plans to major in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with a minor in Education.
“As a veteran, I have found it particularly fulfilling to help veterans who are struggling to re-acclimate to civilian life. It has been wonderful working for an organization that is so dedicated to helping veterans and their families, from deployment to employment,” said Robinson. “Goodwill is also extremely generous in investing in its team members – we all enjoy many hours of on-the-clock training to assist in our own professional development. I feel so fortunate to be able to serve the community and my fellow veterans.”
Ed Padilla is an Army veteran who has been a team member at Goodwill since 2009. His current role is career development facilitator for the Galvano One Stop Job Connection located in the Turning Points Center in Bradenton. In 2015, he was appointed as the chaplain for the American Legion Kirby Stewart Post 24. This year he was elected as the second vice commander of the post.
“As a veteran and advocate, I have strived to assist the veterans in our community, even before our Veteran Services Programs started,” said Padilla. “During the Legacy of Valor events, I participated in various venues, by helping the Goodwill Veterans Services Program. Today, even as I am semi-retired, helping at the Job Connection office and serving with the American Legion, I plan to continue my efforts to support and assist veterans.”
Padilla spent six years in the U.S. Army. He originally enlisted as a combat engineer and was stationed in Hawaii during his first tour of duty. He subsequently re-enlisted, became a behavioral science specialist and was appointed as the non-commissioned officer in charge of the Yuma Proving Ground Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Program, for which he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. For the past 30-plus years, Padilla has dedicated himself to the service of veterans.
“Edwin Robinson and Ed Padilla are both wonderful examples of veterans who have taken every opportunity to positively benefit their community through their personal and career involvements. We are so proud of them both for their continued service to others,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “The brave men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and their families make enormous sacrifices, both during and after their service to our nation. Goodwill works every day to honor our returning heroes through the Veterans Services Program, and Robinson and Padilla have shown themselves to be leaders in this effort.”
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.