Goodwill Manasota Recognizes National Hire a Veteran Day

The Giving Coast

Pictured: Goodwill Manasota veterans services team member Randy Wright (left) and program manager Todd Hughes, with his service dog, Ghost.

This month, as National Hire a Veteran Day (July 25) approaches, Goodwill Manasota affirms its commitment to helping veterans reintegrate into society and overcome barriers to career and life success. Through its American Veterans and Their Families Program, area veterans receive free career services and are connected with employers – especially veteran-friendly employers – who understand the value they will bring to their companies. Veterans face many hurdles upon their transition from military service back into the civilian labor market. They may have lower rates of higher education and often face difficulties in translating their military experience to domestic workplaces. Many are also struggling with health challenges and injuries suffered during their service as well as mental health conditions, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Goodwill’s American Veterans and Their Families Program was created in 2013 to help veterans reintegrate into their families, communities and jobs. The program – which is staffed by veterans – provides comprehensive case management and vocational services, networking opportunities, and assistance in navigating the wide array of available social service programs. An important focus of Goodwill’s veterans program is to provide career development and upskilling opportunities for veterans, in order for them to be able to bolster their job prospects and earn more money.

Ron Thomas is the operations manager of Ready Containment, a manufacturer based in Palmetto that builds spill containment products. An Air Force veteran himself, Thomas understands the challenges of reintegrating into civilian life and the workforce. Thomas has hired seven veterans referred by Goodwill over the past two years; six of those are still with the company. He strongly encourages local employers to look at veterans when considering workforce recruitment. “You can expect a veteran to be on time, they will work as hard as they can, and they will stay until the job is done. You don't have to ask. They also take responsibility seriously and know how to make decisions,” Thomas said. “If someone is seeking dedicated, loyal employees, hiring veterans is the way to go.”

Pictured: Goodwill Manasota veterans services team member Randy Wright (left) and program manager Todd Hughes, with his service dog, Ghost.

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