The Bush Institute Military Service Initiative cited Goodwill Industries of Houston (TX) for outstanding work finding jobs for post 9-11 veterans and helping them bridge the divide between military and civilian life. The Military Service Initiative honored Goodwill Houston – the only nonprofit recognized in the state of Texas — as an example other nonprofits serving veterans should emulate.
Goodwill Houston’s veteran services were praised for two principles underlying their services:
- A culture filled with people who allow the veteran to see they’ve been able to make similar transitions in their lives
- The involvement of Goodwill Houston’s donor and business communities in tailoring programs that lead to successful civilian life for the veteran and their families.
Director of the Military Service Initiative, Colonel Miguel Howe, praised Goodwill’s Houston efforts at a summit for nonprofits. Colonel Howe told attendees, “By insuring their training programs are aligned with the needs of local business, Goodwill Houston is setting up veterans for success in finding the right kind of jobs.” Colonel Howe visited Goodwill Houston’s veteran services last summer and saw firsthand the processes in place now touted as best practices for other nonprofits.
Former President George W. Bush has made veterans’ successful adaptation from military to civilian life a primary focus of the Bush Institute. He led the discussion about the transitions veterans face at his second Military Service Initiative Summit in Dallas on February 18. Goodwill Houston Manager of Development and Special Projects Will Lufburrow and Veterans Services Manager Alma Duldulao-Ybarra were on hand when President Bush rolled out the report.
“I think because we live and breathe it, we didn’t recognize that we had something special. It is rewarding to be recognized because relatively speaking, we are a new kid on the block in terms of targeted veterans services,” Ybarra said.
Goodwill Houston President and CEO Steve Lufburrow said, “Goodwill is proud to be a part of the Bush Institute Military Service Initiative report on bridging the gap for veterans adapting to civilian life. Their recognition inspires us and other organizations across the country as we continue to navigate this shifting landscape.”
The Bush Institute Military Service Initiative toolkit for non-profits along with the entire study is available on their website.