LAS VEGAS, NV — Nina Ridgeway exemplifies the Goodwill mission and the unselfish and service-oriented values of Goodwill’s founder Rev. Edgar Helms through various efforts and programs at her Goodwill. For her work to advocate for and serve veterans and military families, among others, Goodwill Industries International is honored to award her with the 2019 Edgar J. Helms Award for Staff.
Ridgeway is the Veteran Integration Program manager and Director of Career Center Services at Goodwill Industries of Southern Nevada. A 20-year Air Force veteran, she grew Goodwill’s Veterans Integration Program and is passionate about helping veterans and their spouses succeed beyond their service. The program helps veterans and their spouses through a variety of services, including helping to translate their skills and make them marketable to employers, and ensuring long-term financial stability for themselves and their families.
Since joining Goodwill in 2013, Ridgeway has successfully connected people, partners and local employers; opened several career centers; provided hands-on services to the veteran community and their families; and helped placed more than 6,700 individuals into employment, with nearly one-third of those being veterans and military family members.
In 2018, Ridgeway launched the community’s first Mobile Career Coach, an innovative program that provides career services to homeless veterans, victims of domestic abuse, people in addiction recovery, and those who are unable to travel to Goodwill locations. The program stabilized the lives of nearly 100 individuals in its first year.
To ensure that Goodwill employees were fully equipped to best serve program participants, Ridgeway organized “Safe Talk” training for the mission services staff, which helps employees identify program participants in crisis and provide resources to help. Her collaboration with the Director of Philanthropy resulted in Goodwill receiving a $1.4 million Department of Labor dislocated worker grant, which enhanced Goodwill’s Veteran Integration Program to help transitioning military members and their spouses secure civilian employment.
“Nina is a dedicated leader within the veteran community and our mission services are much stronger because of her,” said John Helderman, CEO at Goodwill Industries of Southern Nevada. “Nina is extremely passionate about helping veterans, their families, and other job seekers and her commitment to helping others is evident in her work every day.”
For her work with Goodwill, Ridgeway received the Salute Our Troops individual recognition from NBC News 3 Las Vegas, as well as program recognition through the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Seven Seals Award for service to the community.
In 2015, Ridgeway established the Southern Nevada Veteran Community Engagement Board and currently serves as chair. In August of this year, the board is being recognized by the Governor of Nevada for their work. She was also selected to serve on the Mayor’s Challenge for Suicide Prevention Taskforce on behalf of City of Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman. As part of the effort to address this serious issue within the veteran community, she created a “State of the State” suicide prevention and information workshop, which provided information and resources to 20 community service providers. Ridgeway’s leadership efforts have been recognized in the veteran community by the VA Medical Center director, the Nevada Department of Veterans Services, Veterans Village Las Vegas and the Acting Secretary of Veteran Affairs Peter O’Rourke.
The Edgar J. Helms Award for Staff honors a current Goodwill employee who has not received Goodwill services in the past, and who exemplifies the mission of Goodwill Industries and its founder Rev. Edgar J. Helms’ values of unselfish service to people with disabilities or other disadvantaging conditions.
Ridgeway will receive the award at Goodwill Industries International’s annual meeting of the Delegate Assembly this June in Pittsburgh, PA.
Marketing & Communications Manager
Goodwill of Southern Nevada
Phone: (702) 250-0940
Public Relations Specialist
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5293
ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF SOUTHERN NEVADA
Goodwill Industries of Southern Nevada Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit and is an innovative and sustainable social enterprise offering training services and job placement at Goodwill thrift stories and other local employers in Southern Nevada. It operates three career centers with community-based programs funded through the support of philanthropic giving and government grants, and by selling donated clothing and household items in 17 stores collectively.
ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a network of 160 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. For the past three years, Goodwill was ranked in the top five brands that inspired consumers the most with its mission in the World Value Index, commissioned by the creative agency, enso. Goodwill has been on Forbes’ list of top 20 most inspiring companies for three consecutive years, the only nonprofit featured on that list.
Local Goodwill organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that offer job placement and training services, and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,300 stores collectively and online at shopgoodwill.com®.
Goodwill helps people facing challenges to finding employment, including people with disabilities, veterans and military families, youth and young adults, older workers, people reintegrating into society, and others working to advance their careers. Local Goodwill organizations build revenues and expand employment opportunities by contracting with commercial, state, government and non-government organizations to provide a wide range of business services, including janitorial and grounds maintenance, flexible staffing, food service, manufacturing and contracts packaging, reverse logistics, document imaging and shredding, and laundry services.
Last year, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed more than 288,000 people in employment in the United States and Canada. In addition, more than 36 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills, and more than two million people received in-person services.
Goodwill is both an icon and accessible neighbor: more than 82 percent of the U.S. population resides within 10 miles of a Goodwill location.
For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, visit goodwill.org, or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube: GoodwillIntl.