While jobless claims and the unemployment rate are showing some improvement in the overall employment picture, it’s interesting to look behind these numbers and examine just who is suffering – and benefiting — the most during this modest recovery. In consonance with these findings, GII’s 2012 Public Policy Agenda was drafted in close consultation with Goodwill members and leaders of GII’s mission advancement team.
In an age of high unemployment, people with disabilities continue to have a harder time finding jobs than most. In Hamilton, Ontario, Goodwill's "Youth at Work" Program helps young adults ages 16-30 with disabilities prepare for work through job training opportunities, work placement and assistance finding permanent work.
Before joining the Goodwill Processing Center in South Korea, Jungsoo Jung faced daily anxiety working for an employer who was not sensitive to the needs of individuals with disabilities. He joined Goodwill after hearing about it through his church group, and now reports being treated well and enjoying his daily work He says he looks forward to continuing to build his job skills, and saving money to buy a house and give back to his family. He also hopes to one day be able to visit the United States.
When the 112th Congress wrapped up its first session in December, it left behind a legacy of partisanship that caused public approval ratings to reach historic lows. As the second session kicks into gear this month, lawmakers will have to work quickly on payroll tax relief, emergency unemployment benefits, and reauthorization of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), all of which were only extended through February .Goodwill® looks forward to Congress addressing several other issues of importance to the enterprise and the people we serve.
Herbert Garvin was working as a baggage handler at Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport in 2005 when he experienced a ruptured brain aneurysm. After brain surgery and hospital rehabilitation, Garvin was unable to care for himself and moved back home with his parents. Motivated to provide for his family and daughter, Herbert came to Goodwill Industries of the Coastal Empire’s ADVANCE Acquired Brain Injury program. The program, an award-winning day program, provides assistance to people who experience a brain injury or other neurological disability.
Azziale was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that required yearly corrective surgeries as an adolescent and caused circulation problems, partial blindness and limpness in one leg. She was also diagnosed with lupus and osteoporosis at age 17. Despite these challenges, Azziale graduated high school and completed a four-year registered nursing degree. When work as a home health nurse proved too stressful, she connected with Goodwill and learned medical and billing skills that enabled her to find work as a patient accounts representative.
Jeannie from Charleston, WV, asks, “I’m employed but my job doesn’t pay enough to keep up with my household expenses. How do I find out about training opportunities that can help me get into a job that pays higher wages?”
Before coming to Goodwill, Tyrone had been out of work for almost two years -- he had exhausted his unemployment benefits and had depleted his 401(K) to pay for his house. Though he had a college degree, his skill set was out of date. Tyrone connected with Goodwill, who supported him in gaining multiple IT certifications. He now works full-time for the agency and is thankful to be able to provide for his family.
On December 17, the Senate voted 67-32 to approve a $915 billion “megabus” spending package. The bill provides $10.7 billion to the Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration (ETA), which administers several programs that support local Goodwill® agencies’ efforts to help people find jobs and advance in careers.