SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – During the recent Goodwill Industries International (GII) spring conference in Houston, Tex., Goodwill Manasota was honored with one of three 2017 GII Center of Excellence awards, in the mid-size organization category. The Center of Excellence awards enable Goodwill member organizations to be recognized as leaders in family strengthening; to foster continuous improvement; to increase Goodwill’s capacity to serve individuals, families and communities; and to promote the replication of effective practices.
Goodwill Manasota received the award for its Job Connection program, which offers free career services; financial literacy services, offering classes covering budgeting and debt reduction and providing tools and resources so participants can make sound financial decisions; and the Veterans Services Program, which helps veterans to reintegrate into their families, communities and jobs. These programs demonstrate the investment the local Goodwill is making to advance career navigation, financial capability, and inclusion and equitable access for both the people they serve and employ.
Goodwill’s Job Connection program provides career counseling, interest and aptitude assessments, assistance with resume and cover letter writing skills, interview strengthening exercises, and application submission guidance. Goodwill not only employs individuals with disabilities, veterans, older adults, ex-offenders, and those with other barriers to employment, the organization also provides them with ongoing education and skills training to maintain stable employment. A life coach helps individuals to set and reach career and life goals. In 2016, Goodwill assisted 1,371 community members in its Job Connection offices and placed 764 individuals in jobs paying an average of $10.76/hour.
Through the Veterans Services Program, Goodwill Manasota works to help returning servicemen and women reintegrate back into their families, communities and jobs. In its three years of operation, the program has connected more than 1,500 veterans with necessary social services, provided emotional and physical support, offered free employment services, and distributed funds for emergency needs through its SERV program. In 2016, Goodwill assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce.
For the past 15 years, Goodwill Manasota has been committed to promoting financial literacy and ensuring that individuals living at or below the poverty level have the tools they need to effectively manage their money. The classes offered by Goodwill provide tools, resources and tips to help participants to successfully manage their personal finances and transition from poverty to economic independence. Topics range from credit counseling and using online banking to understanding consumer credit; coursework was developed in collaboration with area banking institutions. In 2016, thanks to Goodwill, 325 individuals – Goodwill employees and community members – participated in financial education classes, 257 participated in budgeting classes, and 32 completed the Home Buyers Education program, after which five team members were pre-approved for a mortgage.
“We are thrilled to be recognized by our international organization for the work that we do to help those with barriers to employment to secure and keep jobs, and to help community members to learn how to budget and get on the path to self-sufficiency,” said Goodwill Manasota president and CEO Bob Rosinsky. “We are sincerely grateful to our board of directors, donors, shoppers, supporters, volunteers and our incredible team members, who made our significant community impact – and our recent recognition – possible.”
For more information about Goodwill, call (941) 355-2721 or go to experiencegoodwill.org.
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 2016, Goodwill Manasota served 28,207 people, placed 755 people in jobs and assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 40 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.