2014

Grant Strengthens Goodwill® Virtual Career Services

QBE Foundation Pledges to Support the Growth of Goodwill's Online Career Services

ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Goodwill Industries International will expand its virtual career services, including virtual career mentoring, for people looking to climb the career ladder and advance in their careers. Through a $50,000 grant from the QBE Foundation, Goodwill® will grow its online career services and strengthen its GoodProspects online career exploration community. In addition, Goodwill plans to increase the number of users and virtual mentors on its GoodProspects website. Goodwill Industries International and the QBE Foundation have a shared mission of helping people capitalize on their abilities and work to their fullest potential.

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According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 56 percent of adult internet users looked online for information about jobs. Computer and web-based job search and career development are crucial for today's job seeker. GoodProspects is a free online career community which helps entry- and mid-level job seekers explore careers in high-growth industries. Since its launch in 2010, GoodProspects has connected more than 14,000 people with online services to help them navigate their careers.

Adults can visit http://goodprospects.goodwill.org to network and engage in online conversations with their peers and career professionals about building their careers. Users can also sign up for free online mentoring with career coaches and experienced professionals, and upload their resumes for critique. Job seekers can take advantage of the site's job-related blog content, videos and webinars by Goodwill and external subject-matter experts. The site is accessible via any smart phone.

"Many job seekers keep busy schedules, making Goodwill's online career services – such as virtual career mentoring – a great fit for their lifestyles,"  said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "Online career services are an extension of what Goodwill has been doing for more than 110 years, and our goal is to provide these virtual services for people looking to advance their careers and build a brighter future."

Since 1902, Goodwill has helped people who face challenges to finding employment. Goodwill provides services to people with disabilities, those who lack education or work experience, and others facing disadvantages, to find jobs, earn paychecks, and live independently. In 2011, Goodwill provided career and community services to 4.2 million people. Goodwill's mission of helping people find jobs and build their careers aligns with the QBE Foundation's vision of helping people develop their professional skills so they can be successful in the workplace.

"Goodwill helps millions of people each year with job training and community-based services, many of whom need extra assistance to overcome disadvantages to finding work," said Dean Harring, QBE Foundation Chair. "We are proud that our investment will be used to grow virtual career resources, including GoodProspects which supports our goal of providing vocational opportunities to people around the world."

The QBE Foundation funds charities that support individuals and groups seeking to live more independently, successfully and productively. This support can be provided through educational programs, work opportunities and work-ready initiatives.  QBE is investing $5 million each year for at least the next five years to support vocational opportunities globally. In addition to Goodwill, the QBE Foundation is funding projects with the following nonprofit organizations: Autism Speaks, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Covenant House, Doctors without Borders, Dress for Success, Habitat for Humanity, Heifer International, KIVA, National MS Society, Smile Train, Teach for America, United Way of Dane County in Wisconsin, and the Wounded Warrior Project.

As the need for online career services continues to grow, GoodProspects will look to help users across the country and around the world build professional networks to increase their employment skills. In addition, Goodwill also plans to develop partnerships with adult education programs, libraries and other nonprofit organizations and train local Goodwill professionals on virtual career and employment development.

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

About QBE
QBE North America is part of QBE Insurance Group Limited, one of the top 20 insurers and reinsurers worldwide. QBE Insurance Group's 2011 results can be found at www.qbena.com. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, QBE operates out of 52 countries around the globe, with a presence in every key insurance market. The North America division, headquartered in New York, conducts business through its property and casualty insurance subsidiaries. QBE insurance companies are rated "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best and "A+" by Standard & Poor's.

SOURCE Goodwill Industries International



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