Goodwill Manasota recently received a grant of $80,000 from the Ralph S. French Charitable Foundation in support of Goodwill’s award-winning GoodPartner Coach program. This is the twelfth year that Goodwill has received funding from the French Foundation for this purpose; the funds awarded will help to defray costs associated with the salaries and benefits of two GoodPartner Coaches.
The GoodPartner Coach program offers individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment – of Goodwill’s 700 employees, approximately 70% have a self-identified disability or disadvantage – with employability skills training and case management services. The goal of the program is to enable those who may have been overlooked elsewhere to gain positive personal and workplace behaviors and skills, feel the pride of earning a paycheck and move toward self-sufficiency, build a strong work history, and develop the experience and skills to position them for higher-paying jobs within the organization or outside of Goodwill.
In 2021, a significant number of Goodwill Manasota’s employees represented the following demographics: persons with disabilities, older workers, speaking a primary language other than English, lack of a high school diploma, and those with a criminal background. Individuals with significant barriers require more than just a job to move toward self-sufficiency. Consequently, Goodwill provides each team member with full-time employment, a competitive wage (all employees earn at least $12 an hour) and a life coach.
The GoodPartner Coaches work with team members to do needs assessments to determine barriers to self-sufficiency and identify areas that could be strengthened through training as well as determine access to basic needs such as housing, food and healthcare. Other program elements include the writing of an individualized development plan, offering case management services to address any issues that might be an impediment to success, financial literacy education, referrals for legal services, referrals for mental health counseling or physical restoration services, ESOL classes, GED or high school diploma programs, digital navigation skills training, assistance in earning training certificates, and/or emergency financial resources.
“The GoodPartner Coach Program has been instrumental in providing team members with essential training and education that serve to enhance their employability skills, boost their earning potential, and help them to set – and achieve – goals they may not have previously thought possible,” said Margie Genter, vice president of mission services for Goodwill Manasota. “Thanks to the generous ongoing support from our friends at the Ralph S. French Charitable Foundation, our GoodPartner Coach program can continue to work to boost the career and life prospects for our employees and their families.”
Goals for the GoodPartner Coach program in 2022 are: to serve 1,200 team members, enroll 45 employees in ESOL classes, assist 10 team members in earning a GED or high school diploma, enroll 375 employees in the Role Model Worker program to enhance employability skills, provide 600 team members with financial education services, provide 300 team members with digital navigation services (equipment, free or affordable internet access and/or digital skills training) and assist 10 team members in earning an industry-valued post-secondary credential.
For more information about Goodwill, visit 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 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 www.experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.