A Collaboration of Good Will: Goodwill and RecruitMilitary Unite

If we are proud of anything at RecruitMilitary, it is our ability to serve the military community and help them successfully find civilian careers. That’s why we are always looking to create more connections, more opportunities, and more partnerships with organizations with similar goals.

Last year, for example, a successful strategic partnership with Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona proved a boon for veterans seeking employment. That collaboration secured 157 job offers from the employers attending a DAV-RecruitMilitary Veterans Career Fair in Phoenix.

Chris Newsome, vice president of candidate acquisition and U.S. Army veteran, said: “It was a very successful tag-team effort. Goodwill’s U.S. Military Veteran Services team was an immense value-add to everyone. Beyond the wonderful resources that Goodwill provided, they also brought career coaches with them to guide attendees and make the career fair as effective as possible.”

Goodwill set up a portable career center which included a computer café of 15 computers with Internet access; printing resources for both candidates and exhibitors; on-site resume writing services; interview and career coaching throughout the day; on-site event liaisons/guides; and volunteers supporting candidate registration.

Marco Garcia, Goodwill community relations senior manager, and Jezreel Ramirez, Employer and Community Relations Military Services partner, served as the tip of the spear for the strategic partnership with RecruitMilitary. “Our mission at Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona is to end unemployment in our state. We partner with the community to find stakeholders. With more than 1,000 employers in our area of operations, we create as many pipelines as possible to connect individuals who have served in the Armed Forces to these employers” said Garcia.

Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona operate 18 career centers, which serve as multi-faceted resources for job seekers. “We help job seekers clarify their goals and expectations,” said Garcia. “Do they need a resume? Interviewing coaching? We provide to them with as many tools as possible to be ready to connect to employers.

We also help with other issues that could be impacting their job search. For example, if they are having trouble with their transportation or housing, we refer them to other partner organizations that can assist them with those issues.”

When the organization sought to expand its outreach to the veteran community, Jezreel Ramirez, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, was brought in to connect employers, schools, and other organizations with veterans. Ramirez found RecruitMilitary on LinkedIn, and connected with Newsome to start the dialogue to build a partnership and coordinate support. “What better way to collaborate than to join forces to help veterans gain employment?” said Garcia.

Just before the career fair began, Ramirez conducted a workshop on personal branding and coached attendees on what to expect when they approach an exhibitor’s table. “Employers will conduct a Google search on applicants, so it’s important to have a positive presence on social media. I teach veterans how to use their conversations with exhibitors as an opportunity to establish their personal brand,” he said.

When it comes to working with the military community, Ramirez has nothing but positive things to say. “Veterans follow instructions and know structure,” said Ramirez. “But they can also take initiative, and come up with solutions. And they always step up, whether it means after hours or weekends – that’s just their nature. Their integrity and work ethic is beyond compare. I always advise people to pursue excellence, and take on additional duties. I have found that great things happen when you are the type of person who steps up and does something because it’s the right thing to do, and that’s what veterans personify.”

Garcia has witnessed numerous success stories over his career. “I’ve spent 17 years connecting people to jobs, and I love to help someone open the door to employment,” he said. “You always get that chill of excitement when someone lands a job. People come to see me years after being placed in a job, and they have moved into management and leadership roles, and they say, ‘You helped me.’ It’s very rewarding.”

“The relationship continues, and our two organizations are moving forward with enduring efforts to best serve the military community of central and northern Arizona,” said Newsome.