As we enter a new year, it’s important to reflect on where we are as an organization and whether our efforts are as effective and far-reaching as they could be. With that in mind, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to our new blog, Social Good.
Goodwill® has been devoted to social good for more than 113 years with a core focus on providing employment services to local job seekers. Moving forward, we want to ensure that we continue to be a leading voice and a force for change on a grand scale, bringing the issues that are important to Goodwill to the forefront of a national dialogue.
Throughout 2016, this new blog series will serve as a forum for thoughts from leading proponents of social innovation. We’ll be hearing about the future of employment in this country and around the world; how young millennials are leading the charge in terms of social entrepreneurship and innovation; and how you can get involved in the social good Goodwill does every day.
The new year is also a time to take stock, especially on the joblessness front. Despite significant economic recovery since the Great Recession of 2008, millions of Americans are still unemployed or underemployed. As of December 2015, the unemployment rate stood at five percent, meaning 7.9 million. Americans are jobless, and a quarter of them have been without work for 27 weeks or more. Another 7.8 million workers are underemployed — working part-time positions when they’d prefer full-time or have abandoned their job search — discouraged by their prospects in the current labor market.
Goodwill Works to Help Job Seekers Like You
In addition to our extensive local efforts, Goodwill is a leader in addressing big-picture concerns to ensure job seekers can adequately keep pace with the rapidly changing employment landscape. For example, to contend with growing concerns within the credentialing industry, we partnered with Lumina Foundation and 50 other organizations in 2015 to launch the Connecting Credentials initiative and website. The initiative aims to help employers and employees find meaningful, accurate information by increasing the quality and transparency of postsecondary credentials in the U.S.
We’ve also launched our updated GoodProspects® website, an innovative digital platform designed to help job seekers connect with the resources necessary to find employment and advance their careers. This tool connects users to their nearest Goodwill and provides digital access to critical career services anytime, anywhere. GoodProspects users gain access to Goodwill’s virtual career mentors, interactive goal-setting features, message boards and listings of job-related events.
As we continue to address unemployment throughout the coming year, we should note that this is an era when the very nature of work is changing at a rapid pace. In this space, we’ll also be featuring articles about issues like the automation of jobs, the future of social entrepreneurship, and how today’s workplaces are changing. Our strong belief at Goodwill is that every individual deserves the chance to reach their full potential through education, skills training and the power of work. With the new blog series, we aim to take that philosophy to the next level and to push forward the conversation about what each of us can to do support individuals, families and communities.