While Labor Day commemorates the economic and social contributions of U.S. workers, thousands of military veterans still struggle to find their place in the workforce. That is why Goodwill remains committed to providing the programs and supports that returning service members need to achieve long-term economic security, as well as to educating employers about the transferrable skills and talents of these men and women.
More than one million veterans are expected to return home in the next five years. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports recent improvements in veteran unemployment rates, Goodwill and its partners understand that diverse and ongoing supports are still necessary to ensure veterans have the best chance at workplace success. This is especially important at a time when the youngest veterans (ages 18-24) and women veterans experience higher rates of unemployment than their civilian counterparts.
In June, Goodwill announced its commitment to provide 3,000 women veterans with services and supports over the next two years to help them find jobs and overcome challenges that impede their families’ path to economic self-sufficiency. This effort builds on the successes of Operation: GoodJobs, a holistic program funded by the Walmart Foundation that integrates career services and family financial fitness resources.
In addition, Goodwill has hired more than 1,800 veterans and military family members at its locations or in the community, and has served more than 103,000 with job training and placement services as part of “Goodwill for America’s Heroes and Their Families,” an initiative that emerged in response to the White House’s Joining Forces campaign. Other services Goodwill provides include no-cost education, health care, housing, primary health care, vocational rehabilitation, and facilitation for substance abuse or mental illness.
“Our returning service members have valuable skills and experiences, and are eager to rejoin the workforce,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “Goodwill programs and services provide the extra leg up in a competitive marketplace. Our goal is to help veterans move into good-paying jobs and to let employers know about this valuable pool of talent.”
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based agencies in the United States and Canada with affiliates in 13 other countries. Goodwill is one of America’s top 25 most inspiring companies (Forbes). Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 2,700 stores and online at shopgoodwill.com®. Local Goodwill agencies also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation, and document imaging and shredding. In 2012, more than 6.7 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill’s career services. Goodwill channels 82 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services