SOURCE: Goodwill Industries International

September 09, 2005 14:39 ET

Goodwill Industries Helps Katrina Survivors Find Jobs

Hiring Is National Issue

ROCKVILLE, MD -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 9, 2005 -- Goodwill Industries agencies across the United States are racing to meet an increased demand in job training, placement and career programs as thousands of evacuees from the Gulf Coast seek work in new cities to get back on their feet.

"Goodwill's immediate goal is to help the survivors of Katrina find jobs and earn some money so they can survive the weeks and months ahead," says George W. Kessinger, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "Not having a place to work or a paycheck to count on is a devastating blow, and compounds the trauma they are experiencing."

In Austin, TX, more than 100 employers have registered for what Goodwill calls a "hiring fair," scheduled for Monday, September 12, with more such hiring events expected in other cities in the weeks ahead. Approximately 3,000 evacuees in Austin are expected to attend. Professional and entry-level positions are available in sectors ranging from healthcare and retail to construction and high-tech. Earlier this week, Goodwill Industries in Shreveport helped organize a job fair attended by an estimated 1,000 evacuees. In other cities, Goodwill career counselors are working with evacuees one-on-one, providing resume and job-search assistance and, where possible, hiring them in Goodwill stores and production areas.

"People need money to get the basics like food and a place to live," says Kessinger. "Employment for Katrina survivors has become a national issue, as many people relocate temporarily, and even permanently, to new cities where they have no contacts and no job prospects."

Goodwill Industries funds its employment programs by selling donated clothing and household items in its retail stores and online at www.shopgoodwill.com, as well as by providing a wide range of business services to government and private industry. "By continuing to donate and shop Goodwill, we can help thousands of people earn a paycheck," says Kessinger. "In other words, your clothes help provide jobs."

Employers and job seekers should call (800) 664-6577 to obtain contact information for the Goodwill agency serving their community, or use the online zip code locator at www.goodwill.org. "Helping people find and keep jobs is the best way Goodwill and the business community can work together to support the survivors of Katrina as they begin to rebuild their lives," says Kessinger.

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