PHARR, TEXAS (NEWS CENTER 23) — Help is on the way for women in the Rio Grande Valley area – specifically in Pharr, McAllen, Mission and Edinburg, who are having difficulty advancing their careers. Goodwill Industries of South Texas is one of 45 Goodwill® agencies across the country to take part in an innovative program that provides job training and placement services to women.
The program, known as Beyond Jobs and funded through a $7.7 million grant from the Walmart Foundation, will now create a larger impact by reaching more women who are unemployed or underemployed. This new funding will help broaden the reach of a program that was started in 2010 in five U.S. markets serving 1,342 women, to serving an expected 12,250 women in 45 communities.
“We are very excited to be able to further assist the working women of the Rio Grande Valley,” said Ronald Meijerink, Director of Mission Services, Southern Region, “Each woman in the program will receive a career assessment including social life skills, job readiness training, placement services and additional support to help them achieve economic security and advance in their careers.”
Beyond Jobs leverages Goodwill’s holistic approach to job training, placement and family financial support services. Over the 30-month grant period, Goodwill will work with women to provide them the tools to achieve their educational, career and financial goals.
Once participants are placed in jobs, they receive support to retain them and to advance in careers within their chosen industries.
Long-term unemployment among women remains a problem, both locally and nationwide. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, only 26 percent of the women who lost their jobs during the recession have regained them. Last year, more than one out of four women was still looking for work after more than a year of job hunting.
“Not only will this program help to place women, no matter their circumstances, in jobs, it will also give them the tools they need to support themselves and their families, in the long term,” said Meijerink “Beyond Jobs fulfills Goodwill’s mission of generating economic opportunities for people who face challenges to finding employment — in this case, women of all backgrounds — to achieve career advancement and financial independence.”
Among the tools provided by the Beyond Jobs program are continued financial education and family strengthening services.
The Beyond Jobs program is a key element in Walmart achieving the goals of its Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, one of which is to help 200,000 U.S. women from low-income households with workforce readiness through job training, education, career counseling, and mentoring. For more information, visit corporate.walmart.com/women.
About Goodwill Industries of South Texas Inc.
Although many still associate the name “Goodwill” almost exclusively with our donations and store operations, Goodwill is actually so much more than a great place to drop off donations and shop. The mission of Goodwill is to create life-changing opportunities for people with disabilities or other barriers to employment. Goodwill believes in the power of work. Through work a person can gain a sense of dignity and independence. Our South Texas community also grows and prospers when more individuals are working and actively contributing to society.
For more information, please visit: www.GoodwillSouthTexas.com