Goodwill Industries International (GII) Announces Public Policy Agenda for the 116th Congress

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: 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.

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 2017, more than 2 million people used in-person Goodwill services to build their career and financial assets. That year, 36 million people used virtual services provided by local Goodwill organizations to access credentialing, certifications, online learning, mentoring, financial literacy education, and digital skills services to equip them to be relevant in our rapidly-evolving labor market.

Local Goodwill organizations connect people seeking employment or career advancement to opportunities, opportunities that help them mitigate the challenges presented by disabilities, limited work skills, record of incarceration, homelessness, long-term unemployment or underemployment; transitioning from dependence on public assistance to self-sufficiency, transitioning from military service to the civilian labor market and other life experiences.  Under this focus area, GII will protect and promote areas related to workforce development and job-training programs that meet the unique needs of those individuals.

Economic Mobility                                                  

One out of every two hundred people who went to work in the U.S. in 2017 did so with the help of Goodwill. Collectively, these employees earned $5.5 billion, while contributing to their communities as productive, tax-paying citizens.

Community-based Goodwills in every state provide career navigation coaching, skills training, financial wellness services and job placement support to people facing employment challenges as they prepare people to be the talent businesses need to advance economic development.  In addition, those organizations receive a number of referrals from agencies that help support critical human service programs.  Goodwill acts on issues pertaining to human services and asset development programs that affect the economic mobility of individuals and families including, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Nonprofit Social Enterprise                                                                                                                                

The network of 161 local Goodwill organizations in the United States has earned the trust and support of more than 100 million donors in the United States and Canada.

Throughout its 117-year history, Goodwill has equipped people to advance their careers and earn greater economic security to care for themselves and their families. In 1902, Methodist minister Edgar J. Helms collected household goods and clothing in wealthier Boston neighborhoods and then trained and hired people to repair the used goods for sale. That idea has evolved into a more than $5 billion social enterprise that has provided dignity and purpose to millions of people through employment and radically transformed the way we think about helping people to help themselves.  Goodwills also generates 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 impact 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.

For ways that you can stay up to date on the issues on GII’s public policy agenda and help advance our agenda, please sign up for GII’s Legislative Action Center and follow us on Twitter @GoodwillCapHill.