Kiwanis Club grant to help Goodwill expand program for older workers

Kiwanis Club of Sarasota awards grant to Goodwill Manasota to fund 'Job Search Strategies for the Older Worker' program

Published Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Goodwill Manasota Team Member Sandy OttSARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Goodwill Manasota recently received a grant from the Kiwanis Club of Sarasota Foundation to support and expand “Job Search Strategies for the Older Worker” (JSSOW), the successful training program designed to meet the needs of the “older worker” (anyone over the age of 55) in a comprehensive way. Goodwill Manasota has identified a significant segment of the older worker population in Sarasota or Manatee counties that want to – or, in many cases, needs to – rediscover and redirect their talents and skills into a new position.

Older workers make up a significant portion of America’s workforce. An AARP Life Reimagined survey, released in July 2016, showed that nearly 70 percent of workers ages 35 and older hope to retire by the time they reach 65, but slightly more than half say they don’t actually expect to retire by that age — or at all. That finding is consistent with a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which indicates workers ages 55 and over are expected to make up nearly 25 percent of the labor force by the year 2024, up from about 22 percent in 2014. This is the fastest-growing segment of the workforce, with a rate of growth of 1.8 percent per year, or more than three times the growth rate of the overall labor force.

“Older workers have the experience, the know-how and the motivation to be productive, valued employees,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “In many cases, all they lack is an updated set of skills, which they can easily obtain through Goodwill’s training and employment programs.”

Goodwill Manasota employs approximately 800 individuals. Team members over the age of 55 make up more than 36 percent of Goodwill Manasota’s total workforce, while individuals 65 and older comprise over 9 percent.

“Kiwanis Club of Sarasota is proud to support Goodwill Manasota’s ‘Job Search Strategies for the Older Worker’ program,” said Barbara Yong, Kiwanis Club of Sarasota president. “This program aligns with the Kiwanis dedication to improving the world one child and one community at a time.”

With the financial support from the Kiwanis Club, the JSSOW program expansion will occur in January of 2017, allowing Goodwill to assist older workers in finding meaningful employment. The training program is broken into three goal-oriented sections addressing job search strategies, networking and interviewing, and the formation of peer action groups so that participants can offer and receive peer support as they begin the process of a job search.

“Goodwill has been innovative in hiring people from the community who may have been overlooked elsewhere. Our goal is to continue employing and training community members because that creates a stronger workforce and local economy. Everyone deserves a chance to earn a paycheck and feel the dignity of work,” said Rosinsky. “We are grateful to the Kiwanis Club of Sarasota Foundation for helping us change lives in a very big way.”


Photo ID: Goodwill Manasota team member Sandy Ott

About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2015, Goodwill Manasota served 22,739 people, placed 961 people in jobs and assisted 358 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 41 million pounds out of the landfill. 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. Goodwill Manasota is 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