LMT Announces Class of 2016 Service Project

Many of us think we know a great deal about Goodwill Industries. We donate our unwanted goods, shop for bargains at their outlet stores, and recognize that Goodwill provides gainful employment to many individuals with disabilities. But how much do we know about Goodwill’s commitment to helping the unemployed find paid, productive work in their local communities? To achieve this mission, Goodwill provides a host of job services and programs including job placement, training & certifications, job fairs, transitional employment, youth services, and business partnerships through their Career Solutions Centers.

One of their business partnerships is with Leadership Middle Tennessee (LMT), a regional leadership program focused on engaging community and business leaders in the 10 county region of Middle Tennessee to make positive impacts in their counties and the region as a whole.

The LMT Class of 2016 is excited to announce that they will partner with Goodwill Industries for their annual class service project. The project will be to assist Goodwill with providing mock interviews to job seekers in an effort to help them brush up on their interviewing skills and to build the confidence of the job seeker.

On Tuesday, April 12th, from 12-2 pm, LMT class members and alumni will host mock job interviews for Goodwill Career Solutions clients across the Middle Tennessee region.  The interviews will take place in the eight LMT, Middle Tennessee counties in which Goodwill has existing Career Solution Centers.   Maury County class members and alumni will assist in Williamson County and Cheatham County volunteers will assist in Robertson County. LMT hopes to have a minimum of ten volunteers from each county.

Through their combined efforts, the LMT class and alumni, along with the Goodwill partners, will simultaneously reach an unprecedented number of individuals seeking job interviewing skills. An event of this scale, reaching across multiple counties, has not been performed before and both Goodwill and LMT are very excited to partner together.

"Goodwill Industries of Middle TN is excited about teaming up with Leadership Middle TN to provide one of the largest single day events in Goodwill's history to benefit folks who are in search of a job,” noted Matthew Bourlakas, LMT current Class of 2016 and President & CEO of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee. “Many of our clients have barriers to employment and struggle to gain access to the workforce. Giving our clients the opportunity to participate in mock interviews with leading executives across Middle TN in a safe and non-intimidating environment will help them develop confidence, learn how to overcome interview nerves, and understand non-verbal communication."

Regarding the success of the Career Solution Centers, the numbers speak for themselves and are quite impressive. In the past year, Goodwill has helped place more than 15,000 clients into jobs, provided 27,000 people with job search assistance and training, and held over 1,200 job fairs. Matthew Bourlakas expects up to 300 of their current clients will participate and take advantage of this interview skills-building opportunity.

Blaine Strock, one of the LMT Class of 2016 co-presidents, has been instrumental in leading the service project planning committee, “Our LMT class is very excited to partner with Goodwill Industries for our class service project. Since our first class meeting, we have talked amongst ourselves about how we might offer some assistance to those who are trying to enter the workforce. Given the success Goodwill demonstrates in placing people in jobs every year, and the fact that Goodwill’s President and CEO is a class mate of ours, helped us see how joining together to simultaneously perform mock interviews for Goodwill clients would be mutually beneficial. It is truly exciting!”

LMT volunteers will work in teams of two with one person asking interview questions of the job-seeking applicants and the second volunteer will be taking notes on the responses of the applicants. From the notes taken, feedback will be provided to the job seekers by a Goodwill employee in an effort to provide guidance on how prepared they were for the questions and any areas in which they might improve.

Considering the mission of LMT to make positive impacts on the region, including through economic growth of individuals and businesses, combined with the mission of Goodwill Industries to put people to work, one can see that this service project fulfills both.