ROCKVILLE, MD — Goodwill Industries International was recently recognized as a leading employer of Navy Reserve sailors for the vital role that Goodwill® plays in the lives of sailors, their families, and their contributions to the Navy Total Force.
“Employers like Goodwill enable our Navy Reserve sailors to serve America on a part‐time basis and to be ready for full‐time duty when called — and the sailors know they can return to work when their service is complete,” said Admiral Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations.
Roughead, along Vice Admiral Dirk Debbink, chief of navy reserve, and other senior Navy officials, met with Goodwill Industries® and 31 other leading employers during a day of briefings, presentations and tours at the Pentagon, where employers learned more about the Navy and the sailors they support.
As part of Goodwill’s services to the Navy and other branches of the armed forces, the organization recently launched Goodwill for America’s Heroes and Their Families. Through this grassroots communication initiative, Goodwill aims to inform active duty service members, returning veterans and their families about the career services and other support that Goodwill offers in local communities. These services are designed to combat high unemployment numbers and financial stress among the veteran population.
Across the country and in every community, military family members and veterans encounter significant financial stress due to unemployment and extended deployment. In 2010, 20.2 million men and 1.8 million women in the civilian non-institutional population ages 18 and over were veterans. Young male veterans (those ages 18 to 24) who served since September 2001 had an unemployment rate of 21.9 percent in 2010, compared to the national average of 9.4 percent for non-veterans. Veterans with disabilities have an even harder time re-entering the workforce, making access to career services and other assistance even more critical both for these veterans and their families. In addition, spouses of military members often have a difficult time finding steady employment due to frequent relocations.
Nearly 54,000 sailors serve part time in the Selected Reserve, and most are employed in full-time jobs. While federal law requires employees to be allowed time off to serve and to be re-employed upon return from duty, employers such as Goodwill go above and beyond to support them. Between 2008 and 2010, the number of documented veterans who received services from Goodwill grew by more than 100 percent, from 12,524 to 25,766.
“Goodwill offers assistance to veterans such as transitional housing and job training, résumé writing, skills training, computer training and personal development — including how to start their own businesses,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “In addition, Goodwill agencies provide financial skills training, connections to health centers and substance abuse centers, counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder and other supportive services.”
The employers that attended the Navy Employer Recognition Event represented large corporations, small businesses, government organizations and self‐employed individuals. Senior Navy and Department of Defense officials briefed the executives on worldwide operations, personnel policy, force structure, family programs and employer support. Other employers recognized during the event included: American Bureau of Shipping, AMSEC, Bell Helicopter, Bend Research Inc., The Boeing Company, CACI, CAPITAL ONE, CSX Corporation, DELL, Department of Homeland Security, DeVry University, The Walt Disney Company, FedEx, FedTechServices Inc., First Presbyterian Church of Waunakee, Food Lion, Health Net Federal Services, Intel Corporation, JEL Air LLC, Johns Hopkins University, Lockheed Martin Corporation, New York Police Department, Northrop Grumman, Safeway, Sedro-Woolley Police Department, U.S. Social Security Administration, Southwest Airlines, Target, TASC Inc., Union Pacific Railroad, and Wells Real Estate Funds.