SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Two organizations that work to help seniors in our community will work even more closely very soon. The Independent Transportation Network (ITN) will soon have more resources to support its mission thanks to Goodwill Manasota, who is providing office space at its Honore location in Sarasota at a very low cost.
Goodwill Manasota’s core mission is to help those with barriers to employment – including seniors who are entering or reentering the workplace – to find work. ITN provides a community-based and community supported quality transportation service for seniors.
Sarasota County has one of the highest percentages of older adults in the nation, with more than 30 percent of the population over the age of 65 and with more than 45 percent of all households including someone over 65. As people age, transportation becomes an issue – according to ITN officials, many seniors feel that surrendering their driver’s licenses is essentially surrendering their freedom.
ITN helps older adults to retain their freedom and dignity by providing a wide range of amenities such as 24/7 availability, no limitations on ride purpose, private automobiles driven by trained drivers, and discounts if the rider applies to share a ride or gives advanced notice.
Goodwill Manasota helps older workers through employment with the organization as well as through its Job Connection and GoodPartner Coach programs. Last year, Goodwill employed 278 team members ages 55 or older. The GoodPartner Coach program, which helps team members develop a plan and provides supports and assistance to overcome obstacles, assisted all of its age 55+ team members in increasing their employability skills. In 2016, the free Job Connection employment service assisted 535 community members ages 55 and older, including 148 ages 66 or older. Last year, Job Connection placed 129 job seekers over 60 years old.
“Our partnership with ITN makes perfect sense: both of our organizations seek to assist older adults in retaining their freedom, dignity, connections to the great community, and self-sufficiency,” said Goodwill Manasota vice president Margie Genter. “We are pleased to provide low-cost office space for ITN and look forward to working in close proximity to – and learning from – one another.”
"There's obviously a very large need for the services we provide," added Arthur Lerman, executive director of ITN. “For elders without cars, it's not just going from one place to another – it's being able to be out in the community and be sociable. Thanks to Goodwill Manasota’s hospitality, we will be able to focus more energy and resources on the older adults we serve."
For more about Goodwill, go to experiencegoodwill.org or call (941) 355-2721.
PHOTO ID: Goodwill Manasota vice president Margie Genter (left) with ITN executive director Arthur Lerman
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.