Close out Vocational Service Month by spearheading a project with your local Goodwill

Jim Gibbons

By Jim Gibbons, President and CEO of Goodwill® Industries International

In October 2009, more than 10 percent of the general U.S. workforce was unemployed—marking the highest rate we had seen in 26 years. While the national unemployment rate is now less than 8 percent, there is still ample room for improvement. Fewer than 22 percent of persons with disabilities are in the workforce. The jobless rate for veterans who served since September 2001 was more than 12 percent last year. And youth unemployment remains at an alarming 50 percent.

One of the ways Rotary clubs can work with their local Goodwill is by providing volunteers to mentor youth. RI and Goodwill Industries International are service partners.

Rotary International and Goodwill Industries International — a 110-year-old social enterprise focused on putting people back to work — have long partnered to help create and expand job training and employment opportunities for people who have trouble finding jobs.

October is Rotary’s Vocational Service Month, dedicated to giving back to the community through vocational service projects. So why not consider using these last few days of the month to kick start a local Rotary-Goodwill project? It can all start with a simple phone call or email to one of our 165 independent, community-based Goodwills in the United States and Canada.

Here are some great examples to help you get started:

  • In Gross Pointe Farms, Michigan, local Rotarians supervised the transfer of 192 boxes containing 8,640 books to the local Goodwill agency as part of the Rotary Literacy initiative.
  • In Nebraska, the Omaha West Rotary Club worked with Goodwill of Omaha to facilitate enough computer donations to fill 12 trailers. These computers were then processed for resale or recycling—again to help support Goodwill’s job training programs.
  • In Ontario, Canada, the Rotary Club of Hamilton A.M. generously donated a 12-passenger van to transport participants to and from Goodwill Works, a career and training program.
  • The Rotary Club of Maple Shade, New Jersey, granted $1,000 to Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey to fund its Job Club. These two groups formed a partnership last year for which Rotarians have committed to collect donations, increase awareness about Goodwill’s mission, hire graduates of the training programs and make financial contributions.

Rotary Clubs and Goodwill agencies have also teamed up to hold career days, find local employment opportunities for persons with disabilities and establish mentoring networks.

By sharing our resources we can help people find dignity through the power of work, so they can support their families and build stronger communities, one person and one job at a time. Imagine what we can do together!

What are you doing in honor of Vocational Service Month? How do you plan to partner with your local Goodwill agency?

5 thoughts on “Close out Vocational Service Month by spearheading a project with your local Goodwill

  1. Dear Jim
    Tell me more about goodwill agencies activities.
    Do you have any one in India?
    Can you help us start similar work in India??
    Bharat Parikh
    PP Rotary Club of Kankaria(Ahmedabad)
    RID 3051


  2. Mr, Jim Gibbsons, i read your message on the problem of unemployment in your country. I suggest, if you are interested to provide an agricultural job opportunities in my place for your people. I hailed from Abia state, Nigeria. There are cashew trees nuts to be invested and processed on, which can yeild much more money to your pocket. If you invest on it, you will not regret.


  3. Dear Jim
    I agee with all you said for the US and Canda BUT in South Africa this is not as easly done.Our unemployment rate is staggeringly high and at the end of December we have another xxxx pupils leaving school looking for employment or chances to get into learning positions.


    • Hi Irene,

      I empathize with your situation and the impact the unemployment rate is having on many communities within South Africa. Goodwill works in conjunction with local rehabilitation organizations in South Africa who offer services that may be able to assist. In addition, Rotary has an office in Durban. Please let us know how we can be of service to you.

      Jim Gibbons
      President and CEO
      Goodwill Industries International


  4. Pingback: Close out Vocational Service Month by spearheading a project with your local Goodwill | Warsaw Rotary , Club 3393, District 6540

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.