Affiliates in Latin America and the Caribbean Provide Vocational Training to Persons with Disabilities
August 4, 2009
Rockville, MD. – Goodwill Industries International® has expanded its outreach in Latin America and the Caribbean by providing effective job training and rehabilitation services to people with disabilities through community-based programs. The newest affiliates to the international organization include Goodwill Industries of the West Indies (Port of Spain, Trinidad), the National Centre for Persons with Disabilities (San Fernando, Trinidad) and the Asociación Civil Buena Voluntad (Goodwill Venezuela) located in Caracas, Venezuela. These organizations support Goodwill’s mission of helping people find and keep good jobs while specifically focusing on providing employment opportunities for people with physical, sensory, mental and/or social disabilities.
“The newest affiliates to the Goodwill® network provide comprehensive training to individuals with disabilities that enhance their experience and self-confidence needed to become employable in today’s competitive job market,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “Each organization’s unique and enterprising business lines enable them to generate the necessary revenues to fund consultative services, community outreach and skills training for those who need them most in their local communities.”
Program participants take comprehensive academic courses and basic computer literacy, combined with social and recreational activities, to transition them into a real world work environment. In addition to job coaching, job training is provided in a variety of industries including:
- Printing, bookbinding, hair styling, culinary arts, furniture refinishing and production, textile sewing and candy-making (Goodwill Industries® of the West Indies – Trinidad)
- Agriculture, beauty culture, food preparation, garment construction, office administration, printing, welding, woodwork and upholstery (National Centre for Persons with Disabilities)
- Small appliance repair and packaging, through a contract with a local chocolate manufacturer (Asociacion Civil Buena Voluntad or Goodwill Venezuela)
“Each of the Goodwill agencies in Latin America and the Caribbean fulfills Goodwill’s mission of integrating people with disabilities through professional rehabilitation, with a social awareness toward creating economic independence,” said Gibbons. “These organizations strive to make a strong match between program participants and local employers, ultimately creating independent and productive citizens as well as creating long-lasting work relationships.”
International affiliates are independent, autonomous organizations that are governed by a voluntary board of directors. Each organization considers its country’s unique social and economic climate when developing programs and services that enable citizens to become economically self-sufficient, support their families, and build better communities.