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Four Star General Speaks at Goodwill's Legacy Luncheon

General McKinley, David Bassett & Bob Rosinsky *Cliff Roles Photography*
General McKinley, David Bassett & Bob Rosinsky *Cliff Roles Photography*

Thank You to Supporters of the Goodwill Veteran Program

Goodwill Manasota’s Legacy Luncheon, held on January 21, 2014 at Michael’s Wine Cellar in Sarasota, was organized to thank supporters of Goodwill’s American Veterans & Their Families Initiative. The event featured retired General Craig McKinley, Former Chief of the National Guard Bureau and Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“Quite frankly, I don’t know of any other organization that does as much for veterans,” said General Craig McKinley. “You are truly setting the standard for communities around the nation to support veterans across America. It’s about giving something back to the people and the community and the nation that’s given so much to us, and I really can’t thank you enough for that.”

The American Veterans & Their Families Initiative program, founded in January 2013, was built around helping military members reintegrate into the community by utilizing a network of community partners to maximize local resources and services, and ease our veterans’ transition back into non-military employment and life.

“Our mission is changing lives through the power of work, because we really do believe work is the foundation for changing your life, and giving you a platform to build on,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “Our commitment for our veteran’s program is that we will not stop and that’s the part of your legacy that we are celebrating today.”

Some of the America Veterans & their Families Initiative 2013 highlights:

  • The program assisted 354 veterans through 602 different services.
  • Organized a Veteran & their Families Jobs and Services fair, which was attended by more than 200 veterans and featured more than 160 employers and services organizations.
  • A comprehensive veteran resource guide that lists resources both within then Department of Veteran Affairs and in the local community.  There are more than 20 categories listed alphabetically from clothing to employment, healthcare to housing, and more.
  • Received designation that enables us to assist veterans with benefits, claims, disability, pensions, education and anything else on both federal and state level.  
“This is one of the largest groups of veterans returning home and there is a greater need for more services,” said McKinley.  “I compliment groups like Goodwill, who have stepped up to fill those gaps for services required.”

The luncheon was sponsored by David Bassett of the Bassett, Vita, Vining, Hermann Group at Morgan Stanley. Although he announced his retirement from his career, Bassett spoke of his plan to continue his involvement on the board, and his commitment to helping the organization succeed.

In 2013, Goodwill Manasota assisted more 300 veterans and served more than 15,000 individuals through Job Connection Centers.  We placed 505 job seekers into competitive community employment at an average wage of $10.57/hour.  Goodwill Manasota, operating in Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Hardee counties, employs more than 750 individuals to date. Goodwill’s economic impact in wages in 2013 was $34 million.

About General (Retired) Craig McKinley:

General Craig Richard McKinley, United States Air Force, served as the 26th Chief, National Guard Bureau from 2008 to 2012.   He was the first officer from the National Guard to ever achieve the grade of a four-star general.  After 38 years in the Air Force, McKinley retired as a four-star general in November 2012. His last assignment was as the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, where he also served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he was a military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council and was the Department of Defense's official channel of communication to the Governors and to State Adjutants General on all matters pertaining to the National Guard, in addition to a long list of assignments and military decorations.

About Goodwill Manasota:

Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. For more than 110 years, Goodwill has provided opportunities through such programs as Donated Goods Employment Services, Job Connection, American Veterans & their Families Initiative, JobsPlus, Supported JobsPlus, Mission Development Services, White Glove Services, Good Neighbor Program and Ambassadors Program. Goodwill continues to assist people with disabilities and barriers to opportunity by changing lives through the power of work. Goodwill Manasota is legally organized under the laws of the United States and the State of Florida. We are accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is NOT owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit EXPERIENCEGOODWILL.ORG.

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