Goodwill Industries International (GII) honored five members of Congress and the director of mission strategies for Goodwill Industries of Central and Coastal Virginia (Richmond) with the nonprofit’s annual advocacy awards. The awards, which recognize commitment to advancing Goodwill’s mission of helping people build careers and gain employment, were presented on Tuesday, April 12 during a reception in Washington, DC, as part of Goodwill’s annual advocacy event.
Sharon Taylor, the recipient of the 2016 GII Advocacy Leader Award, has served as the director of mission strategies for the Richmond Goodwill since 2007 and celebrates 30 years of service for Goodwill this year. She has advocated for policy priorities including funding for the Workforce Investment Act reauthorization (now known as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) and employment opportunities for people with disabilities, as well as investments to continue to rebuild resources for job training programs. She also worked to develop a “Public Policy Page” on her Goodwill’s intranet to quickly disseminate policy information across her organization. Recognized as her organization’s public policy, government regulations and legislative expert, she works to engage leaders within her 39-county territory, participates with the Virginia Goodwill Network in all advocacy activities and attends all legislative receptions. She worked with various leaders, constituents and legislators to develop a state public policy agenda that promotes Goodwill’s business and mission, while advocating for legislation that enhances employment for people with disabilities.
Members of Congress receiving GII’s National Policymaker Awards were:
All of the award winners were nominated by local Goodwill organizations, and winners were chosen by the Public Policy Committee of the GII Board of Directors.
More than 100 Goodwill advocates, including executives, workforce development professionals, volunteer board members and program participants, participated in the advocacy event and met with nearly half of Congress.
The high-priority topics 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.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Goodwill supports the reauthorization of TANF and welcomes the opportunity to shape the discussion and share experiences in hiring and serving this population as bipartisan conversations occur.
Charitable Giving: Issues pertaining to charitable giving are a significant policy concern across Goodwill organizations. As Congress focuses on social enterprises and the need to invest in programs that work, it is important to educate Congress about how Goodwill operates, the value of charitable contributions, and to share Goodwill experiences.
You can lend your voice and support the advocacy event by sending a message to your Member of Congress via the Legislative Action Center. To take action, local Goodwill organization CEOs can click here and public advocates can click here.