Goodwill® Finds Promise in American Jobs Act

As one of the largest nonprofit job training providers in the country, Goodwill® stands ready to support the administration and Congress in efforts to put Americans back to work. During President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress, he referenced the American Jobs Act (AJA), and then delivered it to Capitol Hill requesting swift passage.

The act contains many promising components which Goodwill Industries® believes will help put people back to work, including a mix of tax cuts, infrastructure spending and direct aid to state and local governments.  Goodwill is pleased that the act places an emphasis on the populations we serve, including veterans, people facing extended unemployment, low-income adults, individuals with disabilities and youth. However, other provisions relating to charitable deductions for certain taxpayers are a cause for concern.

Specific items in the bill which Goodwill supports include:

  • Issuing tax credits to businesses and nonprofits that hire veterans
  • Increasing assistance for people long-term unemployed
  • Supporting states in the creation of bridges to work programs with employers
  • Enhancing summer and year-round employment opportunities for low-income youth
  • Providing subsidized employment opportunities for low-income individuals who are unemployed
  • Focusing on job training in high-growth sectors
  • Emphasizing the importance of acquiring career credentials and academic preparation and training

While the president’s jobs plan has received a great deal of media attention and  includes several promising proposals in addition to some that raise concerns, Congress must first pass legislation before such provisions may be implemented. Many Democrats have signaled support for the AJA. However, Republicans, while promising quick review of the legislation, have expressed opposition to new spending and tax increases. Given the political landscape, it is uncertain whether Congress will pass a jobs bill before the end of the year. Any legislation that does indeed pass is likely to differ from the president’s original proposal.

While Goodwill believes that the plan includes a number of promising provisions that would support its efforts to help people find jobs and advance in careers, Goodwill is also concerned that the plan includes provisions that would limit the value of charitable deductions for certain tax payers. Goodwill will engage with Congress and the Obama administration to protect tax incentives for charitable giving, and to develop and implement policies that aim to get Americans back to work and to address this nation’s long-term structural unemployment challenges.