The Naples Job-Link center is one of six full-time mission services locations operated by the agency. The center is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., and is located inside Goodwill’s Retail & Donation Center at Naples Towne Centre (3759 Tamiami Tr. E.).
“We’ve always had employment consultants helping people in Collier County, but it’s especially nice to be able to provide our mission services at a facility inside one of our largest stores,” says Goodwill spokeswoman Kirsten O’Donnell. “Our mission is funded primarily through people’s donations and purchases in stores just like this one.”
In addition to Goodwill’s employment-related guidance, the nonprofit also partners with other agencies to provide family strengthening services, such as money management, foreclosure assistance, income tax preparation, and English as a second language courses.
“When people need a job, they usually need assistance in other ways, too,” O’Donnell explains. “We want to make sure people have all of the tools they need to succeed, not just at work, but at home and in their communities. It’s about giving a hand up, not a handout.”
In total, Goodwill provides Job-Link services at a dozen locations in Southwest Florida, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Clewiston, Fort Myers, LaBelle, North Fort Myers, Pine Island, Port Charlotte, and now Naples.
“We served 9,000 clients through our Job-Link centers last year,” says Fred Richards, Goodwill’s director of Career Development Services. “In 2012, we’re projecting nearly 2000 people will come for mission services at the Naples Job-Link alone.”
Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. helps people with disabilities and other disadvantages overcome their barriers to employment and independence in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades Counties. In 2011, more than 23,000 Southwest Floridians received assistance from Goodwill, ranging from Job-Link services to disability-accessible housing, career guidance and mentoring programs for teens, and the SWFL MicroEnterprise project, a small business education program.
To learn more about Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, please visit the agency’s website at http://www.goodwillswfl.org.
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Goodwill operates 25 thrift stores in SW Florida to support its mission of removing barriers to independence. Programs include income-sensitive housing, career placement assistance, the L.I.F.E. Academy Charter School, Four Wheels for Work, and others.