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Goodwill receives grant to support veteran, military spouse upskilling

An investment of $10,000 from the Manatee Community Foundation will help veterans and military spouses to increase their marketability in the workforce, achieve higher wages



SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL (July 11, 2022) – Goodwill’s American Veterans and Their Families Program was created in 2013 to help veterans reintegrate into their families, communities, and jobs. The program – which is staffed by veterans – provides comprehensive case management and vocational services, networking opportunities, and assistance in navigating the wide array of available social service programs. An important focus of Goodwill’s Veterans Program is to provide career development and upskilling opportunities for veterans, in order for them to be able to bolster their job prospects and earn more money.


In an effort to help increase their marketability in the workforce and achieve higher wages, Goodwill Manasota – with a grant of $10,000 from the Bishop-Parker Foundations Fund of the Manatee Community Foundation – will provide upskilling opportunities for area veterans and military spouses.


The funds from the Manatee Community Foundation will enable Goodwill to enroll approximately 10 veterans and/or military spouses into a training program that results in a post-secondary, industry-valued credential, with a goal of at least eight completing the program and seven being placed into employment or receiving a raise or promotion within 12 months of training.


“At Goodwill, we are proud to support those who have served our country as well as those whose spouses have served or are still on active duty and their families,” said Goodwill Manasota President and CEO Donn Githens. “With the support of the grant from the Bishop-Parker Foundations Fund of the Manatee Community Foundation, we can continue to ensure opportunities exist for all who wish to better their prospects and enjoy life and career success.”


In 2021, Goodwill Manasota served 224 veterans through basic services and another 46 through its American Veterans and Their Families program. Goodwill placed 31 veterans in jobs and offered monthly meetings of the Lutz Buddy Up social club – which supports members of the military, veterans and first responders who are struggling with PTSD and/or who would benefit from peer-to-peer comradery – in Bradenton and Venice, for 111 veterans.


In the area of career development, veterans have access to Goodwill career development facilitators, who help them to find a career path that works for them. They can receive assistance with writing their resumes, coaching on interviews, and help with job searches and the submission of job applications. The veterans services team also provides job leads for veterans to a myriad of veteran-friendly employers, including Goodwill.


Goodwill is committed to upskilling all of its team members. Toward that purpose, in 2021 the organization provided 102,608 hours of on-the-clock training and education for its employees.


For more about Goodwill, visit experiencegoodwill.org.


PHOTO ID: Goodwill Manasota President and CEO Donn Githens (left) and American Veterans and Their Families Program manager Todd Hughes


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 www.experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.

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