The Bank of America Charitable Foundation recently named Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee (Nashville) recipient of the 2013 Neighborhood Builders® award. The program is a strategic investment that couples leadership training with a $200,000 unrestricted grant for high-performing nonprofits that have made a significant impact addressing needs related to community development, critical needs or workforce development and education.
“We recognize the important role Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee plays in serving our most vulnerable residents and ensuring better lives for so many in our community,” said John Stein, Tennessee president, Bank of America. “The leadership training and funding will not only deepen Goodwill’s impact today but sustain its mission and services over time.”
Through the grant, Nashville Goodwill leaders will gain valuable skills and apply funding where it is most needed for maximum local impact. In this case, the agency proposed to create the new “Youth Building Goodwill” program.
According to Betty Johnson, vice president and chief people officer of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, the program will target youth between the ages of 17 to 25 who are unemployed “by connecting them with opportunities to train for jobs, securing a recognized credential and ultimately starting a new job.” Her organization intends to partner with a minimum of 10 nonprofits in the region, in addition to area employers to serve this particular population.
The Nashville Goodwill has already started working with other agencies to make sure this program is a success. A pilot project with the YMCA Youth-Build Program has resulted in several young men obtaining employment. They will receive on-going guidance from Goodwill staff.
“We will assist these young adults in mapping out a life plan that allows them to accomplish their goals, earn an income and become contributing members of the community,” said Johnson.