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Goodwill Presents "Beyond Jobs" Program to Economic Council on Women

June 23, 2014

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As a part of its research on Women & Work, Economic Council staff recently met with Vice President Betty Johnson, Senior Director Matt Gloster, and Vocational Evaluator Barbara Stout of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee to discuss their 26 area Career Solutions Centers and the Beyond Jobs program.

The first thing we learned upon our arrival at the Nashville headquarters is that Goodwill is so much more than the stores we are used to. Goodwill has been beating the drum about their employment services for several years, and with very good reason.

Spread across 48 counties, Goodwill of Middle Tennessee operates 26 career centers that provided services to more than 23,000 Tennesseans in 2013.

Services offered by centers include job search and placement assistance, job fairs and connection to a large network of hiring managers, career counseling, interview and resume assistance, interest and aptitude assessment, as well as classes, training, and certifications in a number of skills.

“Women’s needs are remarkably different from men’s when they are looking for a job.”

Matt Gloster, Senior Director of Career Solutions Goodwill of Middle Tennessee

Of particular interest to the Council is Goodwill’s Beyond Jobs program, which is directed toward women who are searching for work or upgrading their skills. Through this program, Goodwill is engaging women in a collaborative, social environment, which they say is producing great results for women, who face different social and emotional barriers when searching for work, and are able to learn together during this process. Women are also more likely than men to encounter hardship relating to child care, wardrobe, and matters of hygiene, which are rarely addressed in other job readiness programs, but are tackled by Beyond Jobs.

Through its many programs, Goodwill Career Solutions is not only providing a resource for Tennesseans to learn and grow, it is helping to place participants directly into the workforce, with average hourly wages of $9.31, in careers ranging from construction and hospitality to communications and home health care.

Representatives from Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee presented information about their organization’s Career Solutions programs at the TECW’s Spring Quarterly meeting, in follow-up to the TECW’s site visit to Goodwill in April.

“We are regularly working to promote the other half of what we do,” said Goodwill board member and SunTrust Exec. Rob McNeilly. “Tennesseans are familiar with our stores, but they usually don’t know that we use the money from our sales to help other Tennesseans build their skills and find work.”

Training Manager Thomas Lee offered a full presentation about Goodwill’s operations throughout middle Tennessee, where it engages men and women to overcome barriers to employment.  “Goodwill offers new opportunities to Tennesseans who might otherwise fall through the cracks,” said Lee.  “I’m proud to be a part of it, and to spread the word however we can.”

Find Goodwill Career Solutions at or locate one of its 26 career centers by phone at (800) 545-9231. Goodwill of Middle Tennessee is currently accepting applicants into every one of its programs.