SANTA ANA, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 11, 2013) - Goodwill of Orange County, a social enterprise organization in the business of helping people facing barriers to secure jobs that provide purpose, announced today that it selected as one of nine sub-grantees to receive a $312,000 donation -- part of a $5 million dollar Walmart Foundation grant to Goodwill Industries International (GII). Goodwill of Orange County was also awarded a $10,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation through its program with the Institute for Veterans and Militaries Families (IVMF). Both grants will help support unemployed and underemployed veterans and their family members through job training and placement services.

"These donations allow us to continue building upon our efforts to expand employment opportunities for veterans and educate employers about why hiring a veteran is a smart business decision," said Frank Talarico, Jr., president and CEO of Goodwill of Orange County. "With the support of these recent grants, Goodwill programs -- including Operation: GoodJobs 2.0 and Enduring Independence -- will enhance the lives of thousands of Orange County veterans and their families experiencing financial or employment instability."

The $5-million dollar Walmart Foundation grant was offered to help expand the organization's Operation: GoodJobs 2.0 program, which will leverage Goodwill's understanding of this population to provide them with support that leads to economic self-sufficiency.

Equipping military veterans and their families with the tools they need to earn employment and ensure long-term financial wellness for their households, Goodwill Industries International's Operation: GoodJobs 2.0 connects veterans and family members with opportunities to earn certifications, market-value credentials and degrees that will help them with their careers. The initiative also provides soft skills training, including résumé writing skills, career testing and translating military skills to civilian language. Operation: GoodJobs 2.0 supports each veteran's continued success by designing an individualized, holistic plan that outlines how they will retain their jobs, advance in their careers and ensure long-term financial stability for themselves and their household.

Operation: GoodJobs 2.0 implementation will take place during a 31-month period from December 10, 2013 through July 31, 2016, serving more than 4,000 veterans and their families.

The $10,000 Walmart Foundation Vocational Acceleration for Veterans grant was awarded to Goodwill of Orange County through IVMF to seed, cultivate, and provide technical assistance to a network of workforce development-focused programs that will leverage skills, training, credentialing, and other efforts to advance the employment situation of veterans and transitioning service members.

Launching on January 1, 2014, Goodwill of Orange County's Enduring Independence program is an initiative that will assist unemployed and underemployed veterans and their spouses, and spouses of active-duty military personnel, by helping them secure regular employment and increasing their earnings through general placement services, sector-based training and business engagement strategies. Goodwill will actively enroll and place veterans in competitive jobs, also appealing to employers by highlighting the advantages of hiring veterans.

To learn more about the services offered by Goodwill of Orange County to our nation's veterans, visit

About Goodwill of Orange County: Now in its 89th year, Goodwill of Orange County is in the business of helping people who are facing barriers to enter the workforce in a meaningful, fulfilling manner. Founded on the belief that every person should have the opportunity to achieve the independence that work provides, Goodwill is most famous for being the conduit where donated goods are sold in America's favorite thrift stores to generate the revenue that provides the services to those who face employment challenges. Goodwill is our country's leader in creating and providing quality training and employment services to empower individuals to be productive and independent. In 2012, Goodwill was named one of Orange County's Most Trusted Brands.

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Leslie Licano
Beyond Fifteen Communications, Inc.