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Goodwill Invitational Golf Tournament Raises Over $125,000 to Launch "Enduring Independence," First-Ever Program Linking OC Employer Needs and Vet Advantages

General George W. Casey Jr., Iconic U.S. Military Leader, States Primary Reason to Hire Vets... "It's a Smart Business Decision"; Sponsors Including US Bank, DLD Insurance Brokers, UPS, Bank of America, American Airlines, and USO Support Goodwill's Missio

SANTA ANA, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/09/13 -- Goodwill of Orange County has raised over $125,000 to launch the "Enduring Independence" national pilot program -- focused on highlighting the business justification for hiring young vets. All funds raised at the Goodwill Invitational Golf Tournament held on June 28 at the Monarch Beach Golf Links in Dana Point will help Goodwill of Orange County educate employers about the ten "Vet Advantages" that make hiring a veteran a smart business decision. The "Vet Advantages" are dependability, integrity, teamwork, accountability, initiative, loyalty, unselfishness, courage, effectiveness and decisiveness.

The launch of Enduring Independence included a special guest appearance by General George W. Casey Jr., one of America's most iconic military leaders, former head of the Iraq Multinational Force and former Chief of Staff for the US Army from 2007 to 2011. Surrounded by dozens of post-9/11 young veterans from throughout Southern California, General Casey challenged the Orange County business community to create job opportunities for veterans "not just because you are patriots, but because it's a smart business decision."

Casey also received the first-ever Enduring Independence Service Award and a 2013 road bike from Orange County-based Felt Bicycles. The National Anthem was sung by Marna Michele Rough, 21-year-old singer in a wheelchair who recently made it to the second round of Fox's "American Idol," and sang at the first annual Ms. Wheelchair California 2012 Pageant. Golf sponsors including US Bank, DLD Insurance Brokers and UPS contributed funds and offered support for the new Enduring Independence national pilot program.

"Enduring Independence is not another veteran's assistance program, it's a breakthrough effort highlighting the advantages vets have over other prospective employees the same age," said Frank Talarico, Jr., president and CEO of Goodwill of Orange County. "Veteran's service is unparalleled in preparing vets for the challenges of business. When an employer hires a vet, it's simply a good business decision. Young vets are uniquely prepared to make an immediate positive impact in any Orange County workplace."

"Fundamentally, vets have an unfair advantage," said Veteran Services Program and Employment Services Director Carlos Burela. "Enduring Independence is a pioneer program designed to educate employers about why hiring a vet is likely to deliver an immediate return to their businesses success." Burela and his team are particularly focused on veterans ages 21 to 29, as they have an estimated 20 percent unemployment rate.

"Enduring Independence" will launch in Orange County, with the goal of rolling out nationally to both employers and veterans. Please contact Carlos Burela ([email protected]) about the Enduring Independence veterans program. For more general information, please 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.

For more information on Goodwill of Orange County, please contact Joseph Burke, Vice President, Marketing and Community Development, at (714) 547-6308 ext. 301 or [email protected].

Stacey Doss
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