With less than a week before the U.S. is expected to start defaulting on its loans, Goodwill Industries International (GII) sent a letter to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives urging it to maintain funding for programs that assist people Goodwill serves, including individuals with disabilities, youth, adults, dislocated workers, older workers, veteran, people with a criminal background and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients.
The letter emphasized Goodwill Industries’ commitment to helping people find jobs and advance in their careers, with agencies investing 84 percent of the $4 billion in revenue earned last year in these services. Significantly, Goodwill’s collective investment in workforce development services eclipsed the Department of Labor’s combined investment in the Workforce Investment Act’s adult, youth and dislocated workers.
In 2010, local Goodwill agencies provided job training, employment services and supportive services to nearly 2.5 million people, placing more than 170,000 people in jobs and employing 97,000 individuals. In addition, more than 155,000 people were referred to Goodwill for help through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies.
Goodwill Industries understands the difficult challenge decision-makers face as they struggle to reduce the deficit and limit the national debt, while stretching limited resources to support an ever-increasing list of national priorities.
Reducing debt and the deficit is a serious issue that will require all to make sacrifices to address the nation’s spending problem. Goodwill believes that tackling this serious issue also calls for wise investments in integrated strategies that will address our nation’s revenue problem by making our workforce and businesses more competitive.
GII’s letter also notes a new concern to Goodwill — funding for Pell Grants — an increasingly important component of the enterprise’s enhanced efforts to increase collaboration with community colleges. Pell Grants, which enable many job seekers to afford training and education, have become a tempting target for budget hawks because of escalating costs and a projected shortfall of $11 billion in fiscal 2012.
Goodwill launched the Community College/Career Collaboration (C4) in 2009 to enhance local agencies’ collaboration with community colleges to combine their assets and resources to provide easy access to education, job training and other supportive services to individuals who lack college or career credentials.