For more than 20 years, U.S. Army Veteran James Andrew Jackson had a goal of working in the healthcare field. Thanks to Goodwill and USAA, his dream is becoming a reality as he is now on the path to earning his medical assistant certification.
"I can't wait to finish training and to begin working as a medical assistant so I can help people who need help," said Jackson, who lives in Las Vegas, Nev. "I can't thank Goodwill enough for the opportunity."
Jackson is one of more than 500 people who is taking part in Operation Achieve, an initiative funded by USAA to support Black and Hispanic veterans and military spouses, as well as youth and young adult job seekers. At the time of enrollment in the program, job seekers develop an Individual Career and Financial Plan to support their journey to obtain skills, employment and financial stability. The job seeker's plan is unique to their situation and encompasses a variety of areas, including skills training, wrap-around support, and job placement. In addition, some participants will also earn a post-secondary STEM credential in their field of choice.
"Through Operation Achieve, select local Goodwill organizations will provide career-enhancing training, upskilling and reskilling programs, and employment placement services to Black and Hispanic veterans, military families and spouses as they launch their post-service lives," said Steven C. Preston, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "Operation Achieve is yet another example of our commitment to ensuring everyone has the potential to succeed and thrive."
Melissa Boelter, a U.S. Air Force military spouse, is also enrolled in Operation Achieve. Armed with a degree in journalism and another in fashion merchandise, Boelter was looking to switch fields when she was referred to a Goodwill career center. She is gaining healthcare experience through a medical assistant training program with hopes of exploring additional opportunities in the sciences.
"Contributing to a new Goodwill technology framework that supports local Goodwill operations aligns with USAA's commitment to advance employment opportunities and economic mobility," said Justin Schmitt, assistant vice president for corporate responsibility at USAA. "We are grateful to contribute to Operation Achieve as the program expands its focus, targeting underrepresented veterans and military spouses in 10 locations."
Specific Goodwill nonprofit organizations that will be supported with USAA's investment include those headquartered in Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Bradenton, FL; Dallas, TX; Las Vegas, NV; New York, NY; Phoenix, AZ; San Antonio, TX; Tyler, TX; and Waco, TX.
ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 155 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 12 other countries. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps people find employment, Goodwill is recognized with GuideStar's highest rating, the Platinum Seal of Approval.
Local Goodwill organizations offer employment opportunities, job placement and training services, and other community-based programs, which are funded by selling donated clothing and household items in nearly 3,300 stores and online at ShopGoodwill.com®.
For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, visit goodwill.org. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube: GoodwillIntl. Register for our Legislative Action Center via advocate.goodwill.org