From Jail to Jobs: Goodwill® Program Helps Young Adults Find Work

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2020

New Program Funded by Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor

ROCKVILLE, MD — Goodwill Industries International has received an investment from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to fund a new program that helps young adults find jobs after a period of incarceration.

The Goodwill LifeLaunch: Ignite reentry program will provide job skills and career training services for young adults in four cities: Atlanta, GA; Louisville, KY; Pittsburgh, PA; and Muskegon, MI.

“People coming home after a period of incarceration have always faced challenges landing good job opportunities, but never more so than now,” said Steve Preston, president and CEO, Goodwill Industries International. “With high unemployment due to COVID-19, people looking for a second chance will need every form of assistance they can get in an effort to successfully move forward with their lives.”

Goodwill LifeLaunch is designed to serve 415 people with criminal histories who are between the ages of 18 and 24. The four participating Goodwill organizations were chosen based on community need; the Goodwills’ experience in reentry and young adult services; and strong partnerships with community colleges, local criminal justice systems and employers.

“As was the case during the Great Recession, we are seeing tremendous disruptions in the U.S. job market,” said Preston. “As a leader in the field of job training, skills building and career services for more than a century, Goodwill is in prime position to help job seekers most in need of assistance, including people with the unique challenges of reentry.”

The employment training programs instituted in each of the four cities will focus on in-demand jobs in local industries. These include highway construction, welding and maintenance technicians in Atlanta; brake repair, welding and forklift drivers in Louisville; machine operators and electrical maintenance in Muskegon; and HVAC techs and nursing assistants in Pittsburgh.

Among the program’s goals are to keep recidivism among participants at or below 20 percent, to help 60 percent of participants to attain a credential, and to assist 75 percent of participants in gaining measurable skills. Goodwill will track program participants after completion of LifeLaunch: Ignite to accurately measure program success.

Goodwill LifeLaunch is designed to operate for approximately 24 months, with a 12-month period for follow-up services. As part of the DOL’s Young Adult Reentry Program, LifeLaunch: Ignite will strengthen communities by helping participants become productive, contributing members of communities; gain long-term, financially sustaining employment; find stable homes; and address any potential substance abuse or mental health needs.

The Goodwill LifeLaunch: Ignite Reentry Program is made possible with a $4.5 million grant award from the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration, covering 93 percent of operating costs, from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. Goodwill is contributing leveraged funding valued at $324,762 to cover the remaining seven percent of operational costs.​

ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 156 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 12 other countries. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps people find employment, Goodwill is recognized with GuideStar’s highest rating, the Platinum Seal of Approval.

Local Goodwill organizations offer employment opportunities, job placement and training services, and other community-based programs, funded by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,350 stores and at shopgoodwill.com®. Last year, more than 33 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill services, and nearly 1.6 million people received in-person services.

For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, visit goodwill.org, or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube: GoodwillIntl.

CONTACT:
Lauren Lawson-Zilai
Senior Director, Public Relations
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5266
[email protected]