ROCKVILLE, Md., April 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Goodwill Industries International (GII) is awarding eleven United States Senators and Representatives with the 2019 Policymaker Leader Award. The recipients have demonstrated tremendous support of Goodwill's public policy and legislative agenda.
- Representative Kay Granger (R-TX-12) has a long history of fighting for jobs for the citizens in her district and supporting the mission of Goodwill. A member of Rep. Granger's staff presented a Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth (Texas) program participant, and her son, with a proclamation to celebrate his full academic scholarship and the challenges they overcame.
- Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) recognizes the hard work of employees who work under the AbilityOne program, a federal set-aside program to provide employment to people with disabilities. Sen. Kennedy invited a Goodwill of Greater Washington employee working on an AbilityOne contract as his guest at the State of the Union address for two years in a row. Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana (New Orleans) nominated Sen. Kennedy for the award.
- Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) sponsored, co-sponsored and supported several pieces of legislation that would serve individuals facing challenges to improving quality of life, such as finding employment or acquiring healthcare. His legislation, Supporting Veteran Families Act of 2018, originated from the Senator's work with Goodwill Easterseals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain (Great Falls, MT) which nominated him for the award.
- Representative Robert Woodall (R-GA-07) is a strong advocate for people with disabilities and has a deep understanding of how Goodwill's work aligns with his work in that area. Representative Robert Woodall has visited one of Goodwill Industries of North Georgia's (Atlanta) facility services contract sites, the Lawrenceville facility for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He has continued to offer his support and availability to help advocate for Goodwill of North Georgia and its program participants.
- Representative Mark Walker (R-NC-06) introduced legislation last Congress that would expand charitable giving to all taxpayers. Goodwill Industries of Central North Carolina (Greensboro) was tremendously grateful for this effort given the anticipated decline in charitable giving as a result of tax reform. Rep. Walker also worked on behalf of several issues within the Ability One program. The Greensboro Goodwill hosted Rep. Walker for a program and informational tour on its Jobs on the Outside program, as part of the Representative's ongoing efforts to reform justice system and reduce recidivism rates.
- Representative Richard Neal (D-MA-01) is the Dean of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, and for more than 25 years, he has used his position as a legislator to advocate for individuals and families facing challenges to improving quality of life. Rep. Neal served on the Board of Directors at Goodwill Industries of the Pioneer Valley (Springfield) for several years. His office was very supportive of collaborating with the nearby Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries (Boston, MA), viewing it as an opportunity to serve more people in his home state.
- Representative Earl Leroy "Buddy" Carter (R-GA-01) has been a consistent and valued supporter of Goodwill Southeast Georgia (Savannah). Rep. Carter has visited the local Goodwill annually for the past three years. Most recently, he toured the G-Force Manufacturing, Southeast Georgia's AS9100-certified manufacturing and light assembly business unit. Rep. Carter discussed skills and workforce development, removing challenges to seeking employment, and creating opportunities for individuals transitioning back into society. Rep. Walker spoke on Goodwill Southeast Georgia's impact on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives calling out how the local Goodwill is strengthening communities.
- Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA-04) is very supportive of Goodwill of North Georgia (Atlanta). He is interested specifically in the economic impact the organization provides his district and more broadly, the state of Georgia. Rep. Johnson introduced legislation that supports regional economic development in the Southeast Crescent neighborhood in Atlanta, home to a new collegiate training partner of Goodwill's. Rep. Johnson, spoke at Goodwill of North Georgia's new headquarter grand opening ceremony in Decatur, Georgia.
- Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and her staff are tremendous supporters of Goodwill of Northern New England's (Portland, ME) mission and public policy work. The local Goodwill has visited her office, both in her role as Governor and Senator, to share information on programs and initiatives serving their community. Sen. Hassan has spoken out against policies hindering individuals who experience disabilities and has introduced several pieces of legislation to support them, including the Disability Employment Incentive Act and Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act. She is a strong supporter of Competitive Integrated Employment and as Governor signed a bill to end the practice of paying individuals who experience disabilities a special minimum wage in New Hampshire. In the Senate, Maggie Hassan has continued those efforts, cosponsoring legislation which would phase out this practice nationally and provide supports to employers and states.
- Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) and Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03) are avid supporters of Goodwill Columbus (Ohio) and advocates for civility and respect within Congress. Co-creators of the Congressional Civility and Respect Caucus, the U.S. Representatives encourage all members of Congress to act with civility and respect in their political discourse. Goodwill Columbus President and CEO, Margie Pizzuti has a longstanding relationship with both Reps. Stivers and Beatty, and both representatives have invested time in Goodwill over the years, participating in site visits, attending annual meetings and program participant celebrations. Since the 113th Congress, Reps. Stivers and Beatty have served neighboring districts in Central Ohio working together to tackle homelessness, veterans' issues, human trafficking and financial literacy, all issues that greatly impact the people Goodwill Columbus serves.
"These awards recognize lawmakers who support the vital mission of Goodwill through important policies," said Steve Preston, president and CEO at Goodwill Industries International. "Through endorsement and support from our champions in Congress, the needs of Goodwill program participants have been reflected through legislation, advocacy events, high-level committee meetings, and other profound means of advocating for our program participants."
Recipients will receive their awards at Goodwill Industries International's annual advocacy event in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, April 11, 2019.
ABOUT THE GII POLICYMAKER LEADER AWARD
The GII Policymaker Leader Award (for current U.S. representatives and senators), honors elected officials who support Goodwill's public policy and legislative agenda.
ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a network of 160 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 13 other countries. GII is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is recognized by GuideStar with its Platinum Seal of Approval, the organization's highest rating for charities. For the past three years, Goodwill was ranked in the top five brands that inspired consumers the most with its mission in the World Value Index, commissioned by the creative agency, enso. Goodwill has been on Forbes' list of top 20 most inspiring companies for three consecutive years, the only nonprofit featured on that list.
Local Goodwill organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that offer job placement and training services, and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,300 stores collectively and online at shopgoodwill.com®.
Goodwill helps people facing challenges to finding employment, including people with disabilities, veterans and military families, youth and young adults, older workers, people reintegrating into society, and others working to advance their careers. Local Goodwill organizations build revenues and expand employment opportunities by contracting with commercial, state, government and non-government organizations to provide a wide range of business services, including janitorial and grounds maintenance, flexible staffing, food service, manufacturing and contracts packaging, reverse logistics, document imaging and shredding, and laundry services.
Last year, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed more than 288,000 people in employment in the United States and Canada. In addition, more than 38 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills, and more than two million people received in-person services.
Goodwill is both an icon and accessible neighbor: more than 82 percent of the U.S. population resides within 10 miles of a Goodwill location.
For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, visit goodwill.org, or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube: GoodwillIntl.
SOURCE Goodwill Industries International