Workforce Development Leaders Work Toward Increasing Job Opportunities for Veterans and Their Families
Rockville, MD — Deshauna Barber, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve and Miss USA 2016, will serve as a keynote speaker and participate in the Goodwill for America’s Heroes Summit on Saturday, April 22, 2017, at the Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston. During the summit, workforce development professionals who work for local Goodwill organizations across the United States will meet to discuss strategies to help veterans and military families build their skills, grow in their careers, partner with local employers and provide support services for people transitioning from military to civilian life.
Captain Barber will share her story of serving in the military and take part in a question and answer session with participants. She is the first woman actively serving in the U.S. military to win the Miss USA title. Captain Barber comes from a military family. Her parents and two siblings have also served in the military, and her experience gives her a valuable perspective in the service, sacrifices and challenges that veterans and military families face. Captain Barber currently serves in the U.S. Army Reserve at the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit in Rockville, MD.
“Goodwill is thankful for Captain Barber’s service to our country, and we are looking forward to learning from her experience as we help veterans build their work skills and transition to the civilian workforce,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “Captain Barber is passionate about serving veterans, especially those who have returned from deployment, and we are eager to work together to help veterans and military families.”
Since World War I, local, independent Goodwill organizations have helped veterans find jobs and transition their careers from the military to civilian life. Since 2012, Goodwill has served veterans and military families through the Operation: GoodJobs program funded by the Walmart Foundation. Operation: GoodJobs links veterans and their family members to careers with self-sustaining wages while facilitating holistic resources to support the entire family’s personal, career and financial goals. Each program participant develops an individualized career and financial plan that focuses on reducing challenges to finding employment through the linkage to resources to meet basic family needs, such as nutrition, shelter, and child care, as well as specific job training as informed by an assessment process. Once the participants find jobs with local employers, Goodwill organizations and local partners continue to provide wrap-around services for the entire family and support their goals of career advancement.
“Veterans and military families are responsible, hard working and loyal. They deserve every chance to succeed when they return home,” said Gibbons. “We are proud to work with Captain Barber, as well as with local employers and community partners, to support veterans and military families on their journeys to career success.”
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Virginia State University, Captain Barber went on to complete her Masters of Science in Computer Information Systems at the University of Maryland. Following her studies, she returned to live in Washington, D.C. where she was most recently working as an IT analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce. Following her reign as Miss USA, Captain Barber plans to continue her military service, advocacy for veterans and military family issues, and her career in technology.
The Goodwill for America’s Heroes Summit will welcome members of the media for Captain Barber’s remarks from 9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. Journalists who would like to arrange for one-on-one interviews with Captain Barber should contact Terri Parris, at (713) 705-0322 and T_Parris@goodwillhouston.org.
About Goodwill Industries International
Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a network of 162 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 13 other countries. GII is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is recognized by GuideStar with its Platinum Seal of Approval, the organization’s highest rating for charities. GII was also ranked by Enso as the #1 brand doing the most good in the world, and was the only nonprofit brand rated in Forbes’ 20 most inspiring companies for three consecutive years. Local Goodwill organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that create job training programs, employment placement and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,200 stores collectively and online at shopgoodwill.com®. Local Goodwill organizations 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 services preparation, and document imaging and shredding. To learn more, visit goodwill.org.
For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at Goodwill.org or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl or Instagram: GoodwillIntl.
Senior Director of Public Relations
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5266
Mobile: (240) 388-8309
Terri B. Parris
PR and Media Relations Manager
Goodwill Industries of Houston
Phone: (713) 970-1645
Mobile: (713) 705-0322