We are grateful to our veterans and military men and women for their service to our country - Rick, Tricia and Russ, BTS founders

Mission and Story

Our Mission

The Boots to Shoes mission is to augment veterans’ support services for 21st century Veterans’ successful transition into civilian jobs. It serves as an example for going forward by giving back.

Boots to Shoes (BTS) accomplishes its mission by engaging and training volunteers from the business community to be mentors for transitioning veterans. BTS mentors are trained to provide coaching for resumes, job search plans, interview skills and echo the bottom line: appreciation for the veterans’ service to country. Serving Washington state greater Puget Sound area since 2010 Boots to Shoes Foundation seeks to honor the veteran’s service to their country by helping close the unemployment gap currently experienced by post 9/11 veterans.

Our Story

Men and women defend our nation through a rigor, discipline and language that may seem foreign to the nation they defend. That’s where we come in. Boots to Shoes understands the military/private sector divide and the bridge by which our warriors cross it.

The founders, a retired USMC Viet Nam era Veteran and his spouse, along with a business partner, determined through experience and investigation that most Veterans do not have a career oriented civilian network.  Transitioning military service men and women, returning from extended tours of duty in the Middle East and other places around the world, get a start with government provided programs.  They receive information on benefits, on translating their skills into civilian terms for their resumes and on the general process of job searches.  Next are the multi-layered online job searches, which lack human interface.  Job fairs offer opportunities for brief conversations with people in civilian industry.

The Boots to Shoes Foundation was formed to provide mentoring and address the further challenges of the transition.  Boots to Shoes engages volunteers from the local business community who are then trained to be mentors, providing personal coaching and supporting insight into a civilian business network. Boots to Shoes volunteer mentors participate in a three hour workshop, BTS Mentor Savvy, taught by an experienced professional.  The course prepares them for meeting their assigned Veteran or transitioning military service person and provides guidelines on giving resume feedback, discussing interview strategy, and supporting a good job search plan.   All volunteers make a six month commitment.

After 9 years and helping thousands of veterans through interview and networking workshops, training 250 mentors, and awarding over 500 mentorships, Boots to Shoes found an opportunity to merge its program with a larger, national organization:  Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Regions Veterans and Military Services.

Goodwill’s Veterans services are nationally recognized for providing effective case management and job placement services for transitioning military veterans, their spouses and families.  Their program is funded by a national grant administered through Goodwill Industries International and by other support, including, corporation, private foundations, and Goodwill’s thrift social enterprise.  Goodwill Veteran’s services believes that Boots to Shoes is a good fit, adding a needed mentoring component.

Before the end of  2019, Goodwill Veteran’s services would become the new administer of the BTS program, maintaining the name Boots to Shoes, its mission, procedures and educational workshops.   BTS donations will continue to be limited to BTS operations and services.   An exciting merger of services for the BTS post 9/11 military veterans!

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