Goodwill® Mentors Help Young People and Adults Develop Careers

Volunteers Promote Career Awareness and Skills Development During National Mentoring Month

ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This month, organizations across the country will take part in the 11th annual National Mentoring Month to raise awareness of mentoring in its various forms and to recruit volunteers to become involved in formal mentoring programs. Goodwill Industries International is proud to take part in National Mentoring Month, continuing a long tradition of helping young people and adults prepare for and succeed in the workplace. Goodwill also provides innovative online career mentoring for adults, who need guidance as they build their careers. Virtual career mentors help entry and mid-level job seekers determine if a career is right for them and engage in online conversations with career professionals and with their peers who are going through similar experiences. They also gain access to relevant blog content, videos and webinars produced by Goodwill career experts and other subject matter experts, as well as encouraging, first-person career success stories. Since 2010, Goodwill has helped busy adults receive the virtual career services on the Good Prospects website they need to make good career decisions, build their expertise and earn the credentials to compete in today's labor market, while balancing the needs of their families.  

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"For 110 years, Goodwill has focused on helping people find meaningful employment," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "A major part of that mission is working with young people and adults to ensure that they are adequately prepared to enter the workplace."

Created in 2002 by the Harvard School of Public Health and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, National Mentoring Month focuses attention on the need for mentors, as well as how individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits can work together to increase the number of mentors available to ensure brighter futures for America's youth. Each year since its launch, National Mentoring Month has enjoyed the strong support of the U.S. President and members of Congress.

While most mentoring programs focus on education or youth development, Goodwill's programs are among the few that are dedicated to career awareness and development, making sure youth and adults have all the tools they need to succeed in the workplace. Goodwill agencies across the country have youth mentoring programs and have enrolled more than 1,100 young people in 2012. Goodwill also partners with local businesses to arrange for mentees to shadow employees on the job, giving them an idea of what careers and positions might be right for them.

Goodwill's youth mentoring program serves youth in at-risk situations, helping them build career plans and skills and prepare for school completion, post-secondary training and productive work. The program has resulted in many success stories, including that of Tomas Owens. Through the Goodwill GoodGuides® youth mentoring program, his mentor, Michael Burton, helped Owens end his affiliation with a gang and is on track to go to college and build a career.

As President Barack Obama said when he declared the 2013 National Mentoring Month, "Mentors know that helping a child unlock their full potential begins with care, guidance, and support -- which is why my Administration is proud to celebrate mentorship nationwide through programs that help young people see the strength within themselves." By donating as little as one hour per week, Goodwill volunteers can help youth make positive decisions that will set them on the right track toward fulfilling careers.

To learn more about Goodwill mentoring programs, visit http://www.goodwill.org/get-involved/volunteer/goodguides/ and the Good Prospects online community http://goodprospects.goodwill.org/.

ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based, independent agencies in the United States and Canada with 14 affiliates in 13 other countries. Goodwill is one of the top 25 most inspiring companies. (Forbes, 2012) Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 2,700 stores and online at www.shopgoodwill.com. Local Goodwill agencies also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation and document imaging and shredding. In 2011, more than 4.2 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill channels 82 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services. To find your local Goodwill, use the online locator at www.goodwill.org or call (800) GOODWILL. Find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl or follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl

SOURCE Goodwill Industries International



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