How Can I Make a Difference?

On October 23, thousands of people will volunteer their time to organizations across the country in celebration of the 10th annual Make a Difference Day. For some, this is the one time of year to give back to their community. But how much difference can you make in a day?

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Decision 2010 Implications: Job Creation and Job Training Services Need Your Support

Last week, Congress adjourned to give anxious Members of Congress time to hit the campaign trail. Having failed to pass a single appropriations bill to provide funding for federal programs in FY 2011, Congress passed a temporary spending measure or “continuing resolution (CR)” that, for the most part, extends funding for federal programs at current levels through December 3, 2010. The December 3 deadline is significant because it falls after the November mid-term election, yet before the new 112th Congress convenes, meaning that soon-to-be-former Members of Congress must return to Washington in mid-November for a “lame-duck session” to approve spending levels for all federal programs.

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Congress Returns to Washington with Busy Agenda

Congress returned from the Summer recess to staggering reports, such as the unemployment rate hovering near 9.6 percent, and one in seven people living in poverty last year. Although congressional time is limited before the Election Day recess - set tentatively for October 8 - lawmakers remain hopeful that at least a few employment-related bills - can get through the Congress before the recess or during a possible lame-duck session after the election.

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Congress Considers Funding for Important Programs that Support Families

With new reports that the unemployment rate is hovering near 9.5 percent, and one in seven people were living in poverty last year, on September 16, Sen. Baucus (D-MT) introduced the Job Creation and Tax Cuts Act of 2010, proposing to spend $1 billion for Workforce Investment Act “grants to states for youth activities,” and an additional $1.5 billion for basic assistance for families, short-term, one-time aid for needy families and subsidized employment programs under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

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Urge Congress to extend benefits for people in need!

Tell Congress to continue to provide supports for people who aren’t fortunate enough to be a part of the labor force. With an unemployment rate stubbornly hovering around 9.5 percent, an increasing number of people in need are turning to Goodwill for pre- and post-employment services, including skills training, job search assistance, job retention support, and other career programs. Ask Congress to continue to make these critical services possible by extending the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Contingency Fund, which will expire on September 30.

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Urge Congress to Support Funding for Job Training

The U.S. still struggles to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression. And unemployment stubbornly hovers near 10 percent. But Goodwill continues to invest the bulk of its revenues into providing services to people who face employment challenges. Federal investments in this work are vital to us. Today, we are asking you to contact your Members of Congress, and ask them to support funding for job training programs. Continue reading to learn more, or take action now.

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Congress Considers Spending for Key Workforce Programs

Today, July 27, 2010, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee with jurisdiction over funding for the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education Subcommittee considered its FY 2011 spending bill. The full Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the bill on Thursday, July 29. While full details are not yet available, sources assert that funding for the Workforce Investment Act’s (WIA) youth, adult, and dislocated worker funding streams would be increased.

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Celebrating 20 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

On July 26, 2010, we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the first-ever civil rights law for people with disabilities that gave people with disabilities better access to goods, resources, services and job opportunities. We celebrate the ADA as a symbol of our nation’s commitment to equality, and rejoice in the progress that has been made over the past 20 years. But there is still much to do.

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Share the Warmth, Share the Goodwill this Holiday Season

Goodwill Industries International and Santa Barbara-based lifestyle apparel company Horny Toad have partnered to “Share the Warmth” this holiday season. From now through December 31, customers can donate their gently used clothes at Goodwill® locations across the country, go online to tell Horny Toad about the experience, and receive a 15-percent discount on new Horny Toad clothing.

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