Goodwill® works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work. The focus areas of the public policy agenda (Employment and Skills Attainment, Economic Mobility, and Nonprofit Social Enterprise) support Goodwill’s mission and have issue areas in the following levels of engagement:
- Leadership Engagement: Goodwill Industries International (GII) takes a leadership role and encourages members to proactively engage with Congress, the Administration and other stakeholders. We conduct research, develop policy, engage in direct advocacy and mobilize grassroots efforts.
- Advocacy Engagement: As issues evolve through legislative and other processes, GII disseminates positions, advocates and activates grassroots support on an as-needed basis.
- Support Engagement: GII takes a supportive role and works on issues primarily through vehicles such as sign-on letters.
- Monitor: GII monitors the issue without taking a public position.
Employment and Skills Attainment
In 2015, Goodwill helped more than 37 million people train for careers in industries such as banking, IT and health care, to name a few, and get the support services they needed to be successful — such as English language training, additional education or access to transportation and child care. This includes 2 million people who engaged face to face with Goodwill team members and 35 million who used Goodwill mobile and online learning to improve their skills or access virtual coaching and counseling services.
The network of 163 local Goodwill organizations meets the diverse needs of people, including youth, seniors, veterans and immigrants and people with disabilities, criminal backgrounds and other specialized needs. Under this focus area, GII will protect and promote areas related to workforce development and job-training programs that focus on those individuals.
More than 312,000 people obtained meaningful employment in 2015 through their participation in Goodwill programs. These individuals went on to earn more than $5.6 billion in salaries and wages, and they contributed to their communities as productive, tax-paying citizens.
Many local Goodwill organizations provide financial wellness programs, not only to their employees and the people they serve, but also to people referred by agencies that help support the social safety-net. Goodwill will continue to advocate for policies that help strengthen financial wellness, increase economic mobility and reduce poverty by improving safety-net programs including Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Nonprofit Social Enterprise
Goodwill organizations in the United States and Canada offer customized job training, employment placement and other services to people who have disabilities, who lack education or job experience or who face employment challenges. Goodwill has earned the trust and support of 96.9 million donors in these two countries.
Local Goodwill organizations are flexible and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training, employment placement services and other community programs by selling donated clothes and household items at Goodwill retail stores and online. They also generate revenue by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation, document imaging and shredding, and more.
GII will work with Congress, the Administration and other partners to continue to strengthen our social enterprise model and work to prevent policies that could inhibit our work and the ability to accomplish our mission. To that end, we will work on issues pertaining to charitable giving, social innovation, environmental sustainability, adult education, federal contracts and nonprofit governance.
To stay up to date on the issues on GII’s public policy agenda and help advocate for our priorities, please sign up for GII’s Legislative Action Center and follow us on Twitter @GoodwillCapHill.