This week Goodwill Industries International hosted a number of newly appointed CEOs of local Goodwill® organizations from around the country at our office in Rockville, MD. Since this group of community leaders was so close to our nation’s capital, they took the opportunity to hit the Hill with our government relations team and meet with lawmakers and staff.
Each local Goodwill has its own territory in which the organization provides services. That territory may cross multiple states or Congressional districts. Ten of our CEOs charged up their Fitbits and held nearly seventy meetings with lawmakers in their territories across thirteen states. Over one hundred thousand literal steps were taken that day but the number of steps taken to educate lawmakers about Goodwill’s mission and strengthen our relationships with lawmakers is immeasurable.
The high-priority topics discussed for Goodwill and the people that it serves include:
Funding: Goodwill urges Congress to continue to fund job-training programs that help youth, adults and older workers learn the career skills they need to find jobs. Specifically, Congress should maintain funding for programs including the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which helps people receive the training they need to enter the workforce and the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) which helps provide low-income older workers with community service employment and private sector job placement.
Because Congress wasn’t able to reach consensus on funding by the fiscal year deadline, the House and Senate have agreed to fund government programs at current levels under a continuing resolution until December 8th.
Charitable Giving: As Congress discusses tax reform, it is important that the charitable giving incentive for individuals is protected and expanded.
Talk of tax reform has been heating up as lawmakers and the Administration work towards agreement on the principles of reform and they are up against the clock to have anything completed this year. While we applaud Congress’ attempts at reform, we feel as nonprofit organizations like Goodwill continue to meet increased demand for services while receiving less state and federal support, Congress should encourage everyone, regardless of income, to give more to charitable organizations and protect the most vulnerable in our society. Donors play a vital role in the Goodwill network’s ability to fulfill its mission and the charitable deduction is a powerful incentive for individuals to give.
You can lend your voice and support our efforts by sending a message to your Member of Congress via the Legislative Action Center.