Doing Our Part for Those Who’ve Done Theirs

Posted May 2, 2013

By Jim Gibbons, president and CEO, Goodwill Industries International®

President Obama this week is stepping up his call for U.S. businesses to hire American military veterans, enhancing his two-year-old Joining Forces campaign. With hundreds of thousands of vets and their spouses actively looking for work, and more on the way, the need to hire vets is strong and getting stronger.

As an early and ardent supporter of Joining Forces and Got Your 6, Mr. President, Goodwill® is on board. In fact, we’re helping to lead the charge for hiring workers of all stripes, including our nation’s service heroes, just as we have throughout our 111-year history.

Jim Gibbons Photo

One of the best opportunities for vets nationwide to find work comes in the week ahead at a series of events tied into our annual Goodwill Industries Week, May 5 – 11. To start with, dozens of community-based Goodwill agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada will be hosting in-person career fairs and hiring events throughout the week. These events last year drew more than 11,400 job seekers and 647 participating employers.

Additionally, Goodwill Industries International will host its second annual virtual career fair from May 6 – 8 through, enabling job seekers to meet with employers and apply for jobs from anywhere. In support of the virtual career fair, Goodwill will also use Google Hangouts to target three populations struggling to find employment: women, youth, and veterans and military families.

The Google Hangout session for veterans and military family job seekers takes place on Monday, May 6, from 1:00 – 1:45 p.m. EDT. We also have a Hangout for youth job seekers on Tuesday, May 7, and one for women job seekers on Wednesday, May 8, both at 1:00-1:45 p.m. EDT. These events will enable us to connect with job seekers in different parts of the country at the same time, allowing them to talk about issues of importance to them.

I think these are great opportunities for employers as well as for workers. For job seekers in particular, it opens up a greater avenue to find work. For employers, it offers the chance to refine recruiting strategies, expand candidate pools, and reach candidates who might not be able to attend an in-person fair.

As a national activation partner, we are able to facilitate all of the pillar partners in terms of the leadership and job training skills that they offer to veterans and military families. That is why it is so important for our social enterprise to give veterans the tools and resources they need to integrate back into civilian employment.

If you would like more information on Goodwill Industries Week and the in-person and virtual career fairs – or if you know someone else who might benefit from the job assistance – feel free to visit our Good Prospects website. And if for some reason you’re unable to attend or participate in any of these events, you’ll find a wealth of resources that can help you get started on your way to a good job, a bright career and an enhanced quality of life.