Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region held its annual Ready to Work Luncheon today, with new president and CEO Lori Forte Harnick front and center as the Tacoma-based nonprofit announced a number of new programs.
Harnick, who took office at Goodwill in March after serving as chief operating officer of Microsoft Philanthropies, thanked luncheon guests and the community at large for embracing her stewardship of the organization.
“Through your warm welcome,” she said, “you have demonstrated to me not only a great deal of care for this community, but a great deal of togetherness, a great deal of partnership, and a great deal of commitment to solve the problems, overcome the challenges and embrace the opportunities to build a strong and healthy economy and society in Tacoma and the surrounding region.”
With Harnick at the helm, Goodwill has a pair of new programs starting to help local job seekers. One is an advanced computer and office course, featuring training in cloud management and basic website upkeep; that program expects in its first year to serve some 120 adults. The organization also just opened its new MATH center — Mathematics Assistance Tutoring & Help — where adults and youth can drop in to get one-to-one tutoring to refresh math knowledge for GED completion support and pre-employment skills refreshment. That program anticipates supporting 170 in its first year.
“We have a little joke at the MATH center — four out of three people need help in math,” laughed Dan Fey, Goodwill’s senior vice president in workforce development.
Fey underscored the need for more job training in a speech to luncheon attendees.
“By 2020, it’s estimated that nearly 60 percent of U.S. jobs will require some form of post-secondary training,” said Fey. “We need higher caliber training for specific technical jobs and industries, such as those in manufacturing, IT and maritime.”
The luncheon also featured a keynote speech from Kathy LeMay, human rights activist and founder, president and CEO of philanthropic organization Raising Change, Inc.