FORT MYERS, Fla. – PNC Foundation has pledged $25,000 to Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida in support of its Opportunity Accelerator (OA) Program.
OA is a new mentorship program offered through Goodwill that individualizes the delivery of digital skills, job placement, and career training services to each job seeker and career advancer in low-to-moderate income (LMI) communities. In southwest Florida, 35% of the population is LMI, while another 12% live in poverty.
This collaborative approach between Goodwill OA and the LMI community will help financially challenged individuals fulfill their true potential and create equity across Goodwill programs.
“As a national main street bank, PNC is committed to driving real change in areas in which we can make a meaningful impact and we’re pleased to support Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida with this $25,000 grant,” said Chad Loar, PNC regional president for West & Central Florida. “With the OA mentorship program, we’re confident Goodwill can further help their disadvantaged clients flourish with better resources, training and new skills to attain better jobs and career opportunities.”
Earlier this year, Goodwill conducted a study to take a closer look at the labor market and discovered while demand for labor remains strong, the labor pool is lacking in skills, with 66% of those surveyed needing additional skills or training to get the job they wanted, and 57% reported missing out on jobs in the past two years because they lacked the needed skills.
To fill the skills gap, Goodwill has developed the Opportunity Accelerator to bring much-needed training to those who do not have access to higher-education and paid training opportunities. Through Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida’s eight Community Resource Centers, job seekers and career advancers can get a hand-up into better paying opportunities and can increase their independence enabling them to better provide for themselves and their families.
Goodwill Community Resource Center coordinators move career advancers through three phases: Assess and Plan, Equip and Connect, and Launch and Evaluate. The resources provided in the OA framework have been tested in a number of environments (urban, suburban and rural) and with a diverse population of job seekers, from adults young and old, to persons with disabilities and veterans.
“Goodwill is thankful for PNC Foundation’s support of the Opportunity Accelerator,” saidAngela Hemstreet, Goodwill SWFL director of Employment Services. “We so appreciate that PNC sees the value of the services as well as the need for robust case management software. Mission Services is delighted to move forward with the OA with generous support from community partners such as this.”
Goodwill helps people facing challenges find employment, including people with disabilities, veterans and military families, youth and young adults, older workers, people reintegrating into society and others working to advance their careers. Goodwill transforms generations by empowering people through education, career training and work.
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (www.pnc.com), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture.
About Goodwill Industries for Southwest Florida
Goodwill SWFL is a nonprofit organization that is committed to serving people with disabilities and disadvantages by offering life-changing opportunities to achieve independence. They have been providing services to people with disabilities and disadvantages since 1966 in five counties of Southwest Florida: Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades & Hendry counties.