SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – In an effort to better provide career enhancing training and employment placement services to Black and Hispanic veterans and military spouses, United Services Automobile Association (USAA) awarded a grant to Goodwill Industries International through an effort called “Operation Achieve.” Goodwill Manasota is one of the sub-grantees for Operation Achieve, receiving $155,000 to serve Black and Hispanic veterans and military spouses.
Goodwill Manasota plans to enroll 60 veterans and/or spouses for upskilling/reskilling training and employment services; enrollment is denoted by the completion of an individual career and financial plan. Goodwill aims to enroll at least 42 eligible individuals into at least one skills training program (based on their career goals), achieve training completion by at least 21 enrollees, and support employment placements for at least 12 program enrollees by August 31, 2022.
In 2021, Goodwill Manasota served 224 veterans through basic services and another 46 through its American Veterans and Their Families program. Of the veterans served, 23% were Black and 6% were Hispanic. Goodwill placed 31 veterans in jobs and has provided peer networking opportunities, through Lutz Buddy Up meetings in Bradenton and Venice, for 111 veterans.
Not only does Goodwill provide free career services for community members, it also offers tuition reimbursement, soft skills training, computer training and technology certifications, and virtual GED and ESOL classes for its team members.
“At Goodwill, we are honored to support those who have served our country,” said Goodwill Manasota president Donn Githens. “While we are focused on improving the education and wellness opportunities for all veterans and military families, the funds from USAA will help us to increase our reach and ensure opportunities exist for all who wish to better their prospects and enjoy life and career success.”
In order to help guide the effort, Goodwill has convened a recruiting team consisting of veterans’ advocates from throughout the community. This group met for the first time in January.
Community members who are interested in utilizing these funds for training should contact Todd Hughes, program manager for Goodwill’s American Veterans and their Families program: 941-355-2721, ext. 454, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
USAA, a diversified financial services group of companies, is among the leading providers of insurance, investing and banking solutions to members of the U.S. military, veterans who have honorably served, and their families.
For more about Goodwill Manasota, visit experiencegoodwill.org.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.