Two Florida Mothers Take Pride in Earning High School Diplomas

Leslie Hudson and Christall Peavy committed to earning their high school diplomas. So pride in their own accomplishments was evident when the two Florida women, who recently earned their diplomas from Goodwill Industries Big Bend’s Career Training Center, were interviewed for the Panama City News Herald. “Now that I have a high school diploma, a lot of doors are opened to me,” said Hudson, 31, and the mother of three.

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My Story: Nicole Brill

Before learning about supports in her community, Nicole and her daughter were living in a foreclosed home with no running water or gas for over six months. She drove an unreliable vehicle with no working brake lights, a trunk that wouldn't latch and which wouldn't go more than 35 mph. After eventually finding employment with the YMCA, Nicole was referred to Goodwill's Workers on Wheels program. She received a donated car and now feels grateful that she has a safe and dependable means of transportation to go to work and to take her daughter to school. Thanks to support from Goodwill and the YMCA, Nicole is currently pursuing a college degree and has also been able to find a stable home for her and her daughter.

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People with Disabilities Are an Asset to the Workplace

In order to get the highest return on investment, Goodwill® knows that businesses need to hire the right workers. Employees with disabilities represent skilled workers in all industries, who are capable of confronting challenges and solving problems, and are receiving the training that modern businesses require. During National Disability Employment Awareness Month and beyond, Goodwill Industries International encourages the public and private sectors to hire applicants with disabilities and benefit from the unique talents they bring to the workplace. For decades, Goodwill agencies throughout North America have trained and hired people with disabilities to work in Goodwill stores, donation centers and career centers as well as in emerging fields outside of Goodwill including healthcare, green industries and financial services. Read on to learn about two people with disabilities who are succeeding in the workforce with support from Goodwill.

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Funding for Programs Important to Goodwill® Remains Uncertain in Congressional Negotiations

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives agreed to a Senate-passed spending measure that provides temporary funding for the upcoming fiscal year through October 4. Congress must pass another continuing resolution (expected to be good through November 18) before the October 4 deadline. But we are far from being out of the woods. Congress has yet to pass any of its 12 annual spending bills. Such short- and long-term uncertainty will make it even more difficult during these difficult economic times for community-based organizations like Goodwill to develop and implement sustainable strategies that help people with employment challenges find jobs and advance in their careers. While Goodwill’s self-sustaining social enterprise generates the bulk of the funds Goodwill invests in the communities it serves nationwide, federal funds:

  • Leverage programs that local Goodwill agencies operate
  • Stimulate innovative advancements in Goodwill’s delivery of services
  • Support partners in communities that provide key employment and supportive services that improve employment outcomes for the people that Goodwill serves

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Twelve Steps to a Successful Job Application

In today’s tough job market, you must do all that you can to stand out. Many times, job seekers make their first mistake by not properly completing the job application. From dressing appropriately when you pick up or drop off the application, to completing the application completely and accurately, to getting permission from your references, there are several steps you can take to stand out in the crowd when applying for your next job.

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Goodwill Athlete Named Local ‘Extraordinary Person of the Year’

Jeff Brewer, a program participant at Goodwill Columbus (OH), was recently named the agency’s first “Extraordinary Person of the Year” at an agency luncheon. Following the loss of both of his parents, Brewer, who has developmental disabilities, worked diligently to qualify for the 2011 Special Olympics World Games. With the support of Goodwill Columbus athletic programs and staff members, Brewer traveled to Athens, Greece, this summer to represent the U.S.A. in global track and field events. He took home a gold medal after placing first in the 400-meter dash, achieving his best personal time of 1:01 and becoming a world champion in the process.

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Goodwill Athlete Named Local 'Extraordinary Person of the Year'

Jeff Brewer, a program participant at Goodwill Columbus (OH), was recently named the agency’s first “Extraordinary Person of the Year” at an agency luncheon. Following the loss of both of his parents, Brewer, who has developmental disabilities, worked diligently to qualify for the 2011 Special Olympics World Games. With the support of Goodwill Columbus athletic programs and staff members, Brewer traveled to Athens, Greece, this summer to represent the U.S.A. in global track and field events. He took home a gold medal after placing first in the 400-meter dash, achieving his best personal time of 1:01 and becoming a world champion in the process.

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My Story: Darrell Hughes

Before coming to Goodwill, Darrell was in a drug court program where he had to attend mandatory drug screens and sure that he was on time for all of his appointments. Ninety days into the program, a counselor told him about Goodwill and the services that could help him get back on his feet. He joined the Goodwill's Access to Recovery program, which provided him with free counseling services and other work supports like bus tokens. Thanks to his own resolve and the support of Goodwill, Darrell has been sober for more than three years, and holds a paying job that allows him to provide for his family.

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Goodwill® Urges Smart Investments on the Jobs Front

In the midst of the wrangling taking place over temporary spending for FY 2012, U.S. House of Representatives and Senate committees that have jurisdiction over final FY 2012 spending measures are working on their respective bills. On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill to provide FY 2012 funding for the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education. That bill proposes to provide $158 billion in discretionary funding for a wide range of programs including several programs that support local Goodwill agencies’ efforts to help people find jobs and advance in careers. The Senate FY 2012 Labor, HHS, Education bill would provide:

  • Approximately $2.6 billion for the Workforce Investment Act’s Adult, Youth, and Dislocated Workers funding streams
  • $100 million for a Workforce Innovation Fund, a decrease compared to approximately $124 million in FY 2011
  • Nearly $450 million for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), the same amount provided in FY 2011
  • More than $3.1 billion for vocational rehabilitation grants to states, an increase from nearly $3.1 billion in FY 2011
  • Sufficient funds to maintain the maximum Pell grant award at $5,550.

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Goodwill®-Affiliated Judge Named Finalist in ‘People’ Magazine Contest

In 2009, after watching a string of teenagers who committed criminal activities come through his courtroom, St. Louis, MO, Juvenile Court Judge Jimmie Edwards took action. Along with MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries and St. Louis Public Schools, he founded the Innovative Concept Academy, a school dedicated to addressing the needs of students at risk of delinquency. Edwards has been selected by the editors of People magazine as a finalist for the publication’s 2011 People Readers’ Choice Hero campaign based on his work with the academy. The winner of the campaign, determined by public vote, will receive $10,000 to use for his or her charitable cause.

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Goodwill®-Affiliated Judge Named Finalist in 'People' Magazine Contest

In 2009, after watching a string of teenagers who committed criminal activities come through his courtroom, St. Louis, MO, Juvenile Court Judge Jimmie Edwards took action. Along with MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries and St. Louis Public Schools, he founded the Innovative Concept Academy, a school dedicated to addressing the needs of students at risk of delinquency. Edwards has been selected by the editors of People magazine as a finalist for the publication’s 2011 People Readers’ Choice Hero campaign based on his work with the academy. The winner of the campaign, determined by public vote, will receive $10,000 to use for his or her charitable cause.

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Three Easy Organization Projects for a Fall Weekend

The weather is cooler, school is back in session, and thoughts are turning to the end of the year. So, what should you be thinking about for organizing your home and life during the fall? This month, Lorie discusses: the seasonal switcheroo; regrouping in the garage; and, harmonizing your home office.

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