ROCKVILLE, Md., April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly 200 representatives from Goodwill® including CEOs, workforce development professionals, volunteer board members, and program participants will gather on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, April 17, to ask Congress to secure the country's economic recovery by funding federal job training programs.
Goodwill, the largest provider of services in the workforce investment system, intends to urge policymakers to support critical job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs that leverage Goodwill's resources and expertise across the country.
"Lifting this country out of the recession will take more than just a pledge to create jobs. The recovery of our economy calls for a strategic workforce development system that is responsive to the needs of both workers and employers as well as integrated strategies that build upon and leverage existing resources that will address our nation's revenue problem," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "At Goodwill, we provide job training support to someone every 38 seconds of every business day and know firsthand the impact that job training programs have on someone's life."
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High-priority topics for Goodwill and the people it serves include:
Funding: Goodwill is urging Congress to continue its economic recovery efforts by investing in key job training programs that help youth, adults and older workers learn the skills that employers need in order to be competitive in today's economy. Specifically, Congress should maintain funding for programs that leverage Goodwill and support the people we serve, including the Workforce Investment Act's three core funding streams, the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) and community college partnerships. Goodwill sees firsthand both the challenges and the opportunities facing workers today, and is ready to work with Congress and the Obama Administration to build an economic recovery that supports both the businesses that drive the economy and the workers who are eager to contribute. Congress must make it a high priority to preserve funding for programs that enable individuals with disabilities and disadvantages to become self-sufficient and meet the needs of the nation's businesses.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Reauthorization: The Workforce Investment Act was designed to create a universal system of one-stop career centers that provide job training for the individuals who need them, including adults and youth with low incomes, people who have been unemployed for an extended period of time, and people with disabilities. Goodwill agencies receive numerous referrals from state workforce systems and supplement WIA funding by investing their own privately-generated resources to help people find employment and advance in their careers. At a time when unemployment remains high, investments in job training are needed to help people find jobs quickly.
Goodwill urges Congress to reauthorize and fully fund WIA, and ensure that community-based organizations are given all the tools they need to put America back to work. The United States cannot expect to see the economy improve unless it continues to provide education and skills training for the millions of Americans who are still out of work.
ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based, independent agencies in the United States, Canada with 14 affiliates in 13 other countries. Goodwill is one of the nation's top five most valuable and recognized nonprofit brands as well as a leading social services enterprise. Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 2,600 stores and online at www.shopgoodwill.com. Local Goodwill agencies also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation and document imaging and shredding. In 2011, more than 4 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill channels 84 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services. To find your local Goodwill, use the online locator at www.goodwill.org or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter at @GoodwillIntl, @GoodwillCap Hill, or find us on Facebook at GoodwillIntl.