While election-year politics are expected to dominate the 2012 congressional session, a number of issues that Goodwill® cares about are likely to be up for discussion by Congress next year. In anticipation of these conversations, Goodwill has released its official public policy agenda for 2012 (PDF).
Goodwill supports a broad range of issues due to our self-sustaining model, which consists of operating business enterprises to generate a private source of revenue to fund our mission; providing job training and employment services that help people to overcome employment challenges; and hiring many people who come to Goodwill for help within Goodwill-operated businesses.
The 2012 public policy agenda was developed with this model in mind and after consultation with our leadership and membership to ensure that it reflects the direction and needs of the Goodwill enterprise. While the agenda lists numerous issues, it identifies the following four as top priorities:
- Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization
- Older Americans Act reauthorization
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program reauthorization
In addition to identifying issues to proactively pursue, prioritizing GII’s public policy agenda also helps Goodwill to identify issues on which to develop new positions and relationships.
For example, in anticipation of a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, Goodwill released a white paper this year called “From Deployment to Employment” (read the executive summary and full paper) about the needs of military service members, veterans, and their families. In 2012, Goodwill will more proactively seek opportunities to develop partnerships and engage policymakers to improve needed supports for these populations.