Goodwill Honors Veterans and Military Families on Memorial Day and Throughout The Year

Goodwill honors their service, helping them build the next chapter of their careers 
Rockville, MD — As Americans take time to honor veterans and active military service members on Memorial Day, Goodwill continues its commitment of meeting their specialized employment needs. Each day, Goodwill honors their service by providing veterans and military families with tailored job training, and career and transitional services to help them find jobs as civilians and build their careers once their military service ends.
The career needs of American veterans are diverse and vary by population. In particular, Goodwill has shown success in assisting the growing number of female veterans, and women now make up approximately 15 percent of the U.S. military population, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. Eighteen percent of the people helped by Goodwill’s Operation: GoodJobs program, funded by the Walmart Foundation, have been women, giving Goodwill unique expertise on their job training and community needs.
“Whether our veterans are women, minorities, young adults or they have disabilities, Goodwill provides the tailored employment advice and services they need to build their next careers,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “Our veterans are ready to work and Goodwill is committed to helping them meet their goals of earning jobs and caring for their families.”
Goodwill has been committed to helping veterans transition from military service to civilian employment since World War I. Funders and government leaders have taken note of this expertise and have entrusted Goodwill agencies around the United States with grant funding geared directly to veterans.
The Walmart Foundation funds Goodwill’s Operation: GoodJobs program, which helps veterans create individualized plans to support the needs of their families and provide job training and placement services to help them build their financial security. In addition, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation funds Vested in Veterans, which builds on existing Goodwill programs that connects veterans with community college courses, job search and placement services, and individualized career and financial plans to support their personal goals.
Goodwill has provided services to more than 99,380 veteran and military family members, including people such as Ishenia Mumphord and Sara Ethridge.
Former Army Sergeant and single mother Mumphord returned from three tours of duty in Iraq to a tough job market. She had a hard time earning employment with an expired commercial driver’s license, out-of-date certifications, and a résumé that did not adequately reflect her skills. She came to Goodwill Industries of Houston’s Operation: GoodJobs program for assistance. Her Goodwill employment specialist led her through résumé and interviewing workshops. They worked together to improve her résumé to better represent her skills, and updated her commercial driver’s license. As a result of these efforts, she earned a job as a manager at a major trucking firm. Mumphord also received financial coaching, which helped her buy her first house before the arrival of her second child. She says she is very grateful for the employment and financial guidance she received from the Operation: GoodJobs program.
Ethridge was discharged while her husband was in the military. She then became discharged as a disabled veteran. While caring for her husband and raising two children, she realized that she was her family’s only resource for stability and income. After serving in the Marines for eight years, she moved her family to her hometown of Roanoke, VA. After two years, Ethridge continued to struggle to find suitable employment to support her family. The local One Stop Career Center referred her to Goodwill Industries of the Valleys (Roanoke, VA) where she became a participant in a Goodwill Beyond Jobs program, funded by the Walmart Foundation, which provides community resources to women so they can achieve family and financial stability, through job readiness training, and job placement services. Ethridge received tips from the human resources team as well as a redesign of her résumé from the community college career coach. She also enrolled in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program. Ethridge eventually applied for a job at Goodwill.  She excelled in her interview and was offered a job as the Rapid Response Employment for Veterans Program Coordinator in Roanoke, VA.  She continues to attend financial literacy classes and has begun saving for her children’s college tuition and her retirement.
“Ishenia and Sarah are great examples of what our veterans can achieve with just a little support from community-based organizations like Goodwill,” said Gibbons.
For more information on Goodwill services for veterans and military families, visit www.goodwill.org/goodwill-for-you/specialized-services/veterans/