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Initiative will help job seekers gain vital new skills and earn a professional certificate.

Santa Rosa, California June 16, 2021— Goodwill ~ Redwood Empire is thrilled to be part of a new initiative launched by Goodwill Industries International, Facebook Elevate and Coursera to help job seekers master social media marketing skills. As the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates a shift in the workforce toward positions that require digital skills, this vital partnership will help thousands of job seekers, including many in Sonoma County, gain skills to prepare for career transitions.

While many social media marketing roles require technical training previously learned through advanced degree programs, Facebook Elevate, along with Coursera, a global leader in online learning, launched a five-course program designed for learners with no prior industry experience to earn a Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate. This self-paced online program is designed to be completed within 20 weeks and includes 100 hours of hands-on, project-based training. After completing the program, learners will receive an industry-recognized certificate that they can use to apply for entry-level social media marketing roles.

This groundbreaking new training is intended to increase diversity and eliminate barriers to entry in this rapidly growing field of work. Facebook Elevate is funding Goodwill, North America’s leading workforce development nonprofit, to distribute 6,000 scholarships, covering the full costs of the training program. As part of Facebook Elevate’s commitment to diversity, the grant will enable Goodwill to offer holistic support to learners, providing eligible participants with services including career planning, résumé building and other supports as needed.

“Goodwill ~ Redwood Empire is pleased to be one the Goodwill organizations participating in this important new initiative,” said Brandy Evans, President & CEO. “Every day, we meet people in our community who are determined to get back to work, and these scholarships will allow many of them to learn the new skills they need.”

Facebook Elevate is a community and learning platform created to accelerate the growth of businesses of color and celebrate creators who break barriers and turn dreams into realities. In 2020, Facebook Elevate announced they will reach 1 million members of the Black community and 1 million members of the Latinx community in the U.S. over the next three years.

“Companies across the globe are rapidly changing and seeking diverse talent with digital skills. The new Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate Program is a helpful tool for job seekers to grow their digital skills and prepare for the opportunities of tomorrow,” said Judy Toland, vice president and head of scaled solutions, global business marketing at Facebook.


Tracey Feick, Director of Mission Services
Goodwill ~ Redwood Empire

Goodwill ~ Redwood Empire’s mission is Changing Lives and Strengthening Communities through the Dignity and Power of Work. Goodwill has been supporting the Redwood Empire since 1974 to empower those with barriers to employment including poverty, disability, lack of work history, and recent incarceration to prepare for, find and retain meaningful employment. Community donations fund our retail stores to provide job training for those building job skills and employment history, as well as other job readiness, training and employment programs. In the past year, we have delivered 218,865 hours of job skill training and our Donated Goods Program has helped the planet by diverting 7+ million pounds of materials from landfills. Learn how you can support your local Goodwill to ensure everyone in our community has the opportunity to thrive at or 707-523-0550.

Rebecca Hermosillo & Amy Hunsberger Newly Appointed to the
Goodwill ~ Redwood Empire Board of Directors


Goodwill Industries of the Redwood Empire is pleased to announce the appointment of Rebecca Hermosillo, District Representative for Congressman Mike Thompson, and Amy Hunsberger, Attorney with US Department of Health & Human Services, to our Board of Directors.

“Our Board of Directors is comprised of community leaders committed to providing much needed supports to those in our community dealing with barriers to employment.” said Brandy Evans, President & CEO. “We are excited to channel Rebecca and Amy’s talent and expertise in furthering the Goodwill mission in the Redwood Empire.”

Voted Best Places to Work in the North Bay 2020!


Below is a snippet from The North Bay Business Journal:



In the words of founder Edgar J. Helms in 1902, Goodwill is “an industrial program as well as a social service enterprise.”

In the North Bay, Goodwill Industries of the Redwood Empire opened its doors 46 years ago and today has some 234 employees — with 100% of upper management positions held by minorities and women.

Goodwill is also a provider of employment, training and rehabilitation opportunities for people of limited employability, and a source of temporary assistance for individuals whose resources have been depleted.

“We focus on developing our team members in ways that extend far beyond job skills,” said Brandy Evans, president and CEO. “We intentionally make time to listen to the needs of our team and support them in gaining life support that allow them to face challenges and excel in their employment.”

Goodwill is much more than a chain of stores selling repurposed clothing, furniture and other items. The Donated Goods Program also funds many other programs, such as recycling efforts, Work Adjustment Training, Situational Assessment Services and the Goodwill Guides Program for independent living.

Employee benefits include, paid sick leave, paid vacation, paid floating holiday leave for its seven-day-a-week team members that have to work holidays (with double pay on holidays), and paid holidays for five-day-a-week team members. Contributions are made for health, dental and eye care. There is an EAP, anniversary and holiday gift cards and paid training time.

Goodwill instituted a special hotline for employees to dial to receive daily updates while sheltering in place. A mass text program for sending companywide alerts was also deployed.

“We did not have a single layoff or furlough during the shelter-in-place mandate. Goodwill had the foresight to set funds aside for the economic turmoil we are facing so full salaries could be paid. I’m proud of how well we all have adopted the highest standards to stay safe,” a worker reported.

( The full article is available here: )

Voted Best Places to Work 2019!


2018 Winner – North Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in the North Bay!

As one of the North Bay’s largest non-profits we are honored to receive this award. “We offer a positive work environment with great employees who believe in the mission of helping to change lives through the dignity and power of work,” said CEO Brandy Evans. “We are successful because of the outstanding efforts of our dedicated workers.

When the public shops at Goodwill stores where useful items are repurposed, employment and training opportunities are created.

One employee said “Management supports employees with special needs and helps everyone become good workers. They took a chance with me and got a grateful employee back on his feet by giving me tools to build confidence and success by working.”

We Believe in the Power of Work