Goodwill partnership will increase pool of skilled labor in region

Grant from Goodwill Industries International and Bank of America to support weekly classes offered in small engine assembly and repair

Published Friday, March 3, 2017

Goodwill Manasota's small engine repair classBRADENTON, FL – Through a grant from Goodwill Industries International and Bank of America, Goodwill Manasota will help to provide another resource to enable individuals to attain the skills needed for career success. Free weekly small engine repair classes will be offered; participants who graduate from the course are guaranteed an interview with a local employer and a free tool kit. 

Studies have shown that, by 2020, approximately two-thirds of all jobs in the U.S. economy will require post-secondary education and training beyond high school – and that the U.S. will fall short of the need by 5 million workers with post-secondary education (at the current production rate). Goodwill is partnering with Turning Points,, and United Way of Manatee County to increase the pool of skilled workers in our area.   

The course introduces students to small engines and covers all types of internal combustion engines, with an emphasis on smaller two- and four-cycle engines. Laboratory time is devoted to disassembly, examination, reconditioning and assembly of engines. The class culminates in an exam that demonstrates the student has mastered the skills and has satisfied the requirements of the small engine repair certification, through Briggs and Stratton.   

Along with the technical training, Goodwill offers free career services through its Job Connection program. Clients participate in a career needs assessment and the development of an individualized case management plan, and then go through training components to reach ultimate desired outcomes. Job performance and educational benchmarks are set, providing clear expectations for career advancement readiness.

Goodwill also offers training in soft skills individuals will need to obtain a credential, and secure and maintain employment.  These classes include time management, goal setting, career mapping, budgeting and financial aid for schooling.  

“Goodwill Manasota is proud to partner on this worthy venture, which will help participants to reach higher and achieve more in their careers,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “Our goal is to help people learn about jobs in fields that interest them while providing them with opportunities to gain skills that will help them earn a better living and fill a real need in the workforce. We are grateful to Goodwill Industries International and Bank of America for supporting this program.”

The program is open entry/exit and it takes 28 weeks to complete. Classes are held each Sunday, 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the United Way building located at 1701 Tamiami Trail in Bradenton. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to call Lori Blaisdell at (941) 747-1509.


PHOTO ID: (From l-r) Daniel Coffin, Adam Monroe, James Jewell, Kenneth Leach, David Gerlach, Joshua Stewart, George Stewart, Yusdel Valdes and Lamar Stewart during a recent small engine repair class

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 2016, Goodwill Manasota served 28,207 people, placed 755 people in jobs and assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 40 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