SOURCE: Goodwill Industries International

April 29, 2008 10:59 ET

Levi's® and Goodwill Pilot Retail Job Shadow Program

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - April 29, 2008) - Employees at the Levi's® Store in San Francisco's Union Square will host 10 Goodwill® store managers on May 1 to give them a first-hand look at traditional retail operations. The Goodwill managers run a six-month job training program for roughly 30 Goodwill clients. The pilot job shadow program aims to help them learn Levi's best practices, which they in turn can share with their trainees.

"Hundreds of thousands of people across America want to work but need Goodwill's help to find and keep a job," says Jim Gibbons, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "The job shadow day at Levi's® Store offers a window into the operations of a very successful retail institution, which will help our trainers build the foundation for our clients' success."

The job shadow day is part of Levi's® annual "501® Day" volunteer efforts. During the day, the Goodwill managers will learn about Levi's® 150-year history and the company's values and vision. They will rotate through positions in the store, including greeter, floor sales person and stocker.

"Social responsibility and supporting local communities are corporate values that have been woven deeply into the fabric of Levi Strauss & Co. since the company was founded more than 150 years ago," says Mark Breitbard, President of Levi Brand Retail. "Partnering with Goodwill Industries to help their clients gain knowledge and confidence as they launch their careers is a compelling way to engage our employees in this tradition."

The Goodwill managers train participants in the San Francisco Goodwill's new Sales and Service Career Pathways program. This six-month training program allows transitional employees to work in one of Goodwill's store training centers, where they receive hands-on training in all aspects of running a retail business, including assisting customers, merchandising product, ringing sales, and working on a team. The time spent in stores teaches critical job skills and helps build a resume for future employment in the areas of retail, sales, service, and hospitality.

"Our goal is to help people learn the skills they need to succeed at work and climb the career ladder," says Gibbons. "At Goodwill, we know that it takes effective training and support to be successful, in addition to a strong work ethic."

The job shadow day in San Francisco caps a nationwide campaign to "Take Your Jeans Off" for Goodwill. Between April 24 and May 1, consumers who donate any gently-worn denim item at a participating Levi's® Store will receive a 20 percent discount off a new pair of Levi's® jeans (limit one per customer). Levi's® will donate all denim to Goodwill Industries to be sold in local Goodwill stores. Proceeds from the sales will help fund Goodwill job training programs that benefit hundreds of thousands of people each year.

About Goodwill Industries

Goodwill Industries International is a network of 184 community-based, independent member organizations in the United States, Canada and 14 other countries. Each organization serves people with disabilities, low-wage workers and other job seekers by providing education and career services, as well as job placement opportunities and post-employment support. Through its services, the network helps people overcome barriers to employment and become independent, tax-paying members of their communities. In 2007, more than 1 million people benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill Industries International reported an estimated $3 billion in revenue and channels 83 percent of its revenue directly into its programs and services. To find your local Goodwill, use the online locator at www.goodwill.org or call (800) 664-6577.

About Levi Strauss & Co.

Invented in 1873 by Levi Strauss, Levi's® Jeans are the original, authentic jeans. They are the most successful, widely recognized and often imitated jeans products in the history of apparel. Levi's® Jeans have captured the attention, imagination and loyalty of generations of diverse individuals in more than 110 countries around the world and continue to do so today through jeanswear innovation. Levi Strauss & Co. has been leading innovation for more than 150 years. Levi Strauss & Co. and its employees contribute more than 40,000 hours of service globally each year on 64 Community Involvement Teams around the world. For more information about the Levi's brand, its products and the Levi's® Stores, visit levi.com.

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