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VOLUNTEER PARTNER OF THE YEAR EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR COMMUNITY PARTNER OF THE YEAR In early Spring of 2015 during planting season Goodwills relationship with SERRV International was cultivated resulting in a mutually beneficial partnership. With efforts to plant the seeds with Goodwill job seekers by giving them opportunities for skill advancement and vocational exploration SERRV offered a seedbed for program participants to begin volunteering twice weekly at their Westminster location. SERRV is a nonprofit fair trade organization dedicated to lifting disadvantaged artisans farmers and their families out of poverty. They literally and figuratively plant seed. SERVV creates a wonderful opportunity to maintain their connectedness to a small business that benefits the community worldwide. Goodwill first began partnering with Transitions Oakland Manor in Sykesville in the beginning of 2015 to assist them with filling job vacancies and providing work experience opportunities for job seekers. After the first successful placement of a client into their kitchen department Goodwill was able to continue providing several candidates into their program. Some of the candidates were offered permanent employment. Transitions management staff has gone well above the norm to train and educate Goodwill job seekers to acquire specific industry based skills. Goodwill is grateful to be working with such an employment impacting business. Lowes offered a seasonal part-time position to a job seeker receiving services for Goodwills Mission Services program. The newly hired employee was able to gain additional skillsets that eventually led to an opportunity for advancement into a full-time position in Lowes garden department where planting and caring for seeds continued our theme. Planting the seedbed for a meaningful partnership Lowes management team and Goodwills job development team began to explore additional opportunities for placing qualified job seekers into positions at Lowes. The partnership between Lowes and Goodwill continues to prosper to the benefit of many job seekers.