Goodwill® Awarded $4.5 Million Federal Grant to Support Young Adults With Holistic Reintegration Services

By Mali Wilkes, GII’s public relations and multimedia manager

ROCKVILLE, MD — Goodwill Industries International (GII), has received a 39-month, $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration for its Goodwill Young Adult LifeLaunch project to support young adults involved in the justice system with training, education, employment and holistic support, and stabilization services.

Participants in GII’s existing young adult reentry program, also funded by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, have experienced a recidivism rate of only five percent since 2016, far below the national average of 44 percent. Seventy-three percent of enrolled young adults earned a degree or industry-recognized credentials, and 62 percent are earning paychecks.

With the new grant award, local Goodwill organizations will support 572 young adults ages 18 to 24 in high-crime, high poverty areas of five cities: Dayton, OH; Houston, TX; Rockford, IL; Santa Ana, CA; and Shreveport, LA. Goodwill will partner with state and local justice systems and local employers in these cities to offer a pipeline of talented candidates with the right skills for in-demand jobs.

Through work-based learning like apprenticeships, paid work experience or paid training experiences, participants can earn a living while learning new skills. They will also have the opportunity to pursue educational or occupational skills training to earn industry-recognized credentials. All participants will receive holistic wrap-around services like coaching, mentoring and training to help them re-establish in their communities and with their families while preparing to earn, retain and advance in employment.

“Across the country, local Goodwill organizations are committed to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with young adults who are establishing a path to stability and success,” said Wendi Copeland, chief mission and partnership officer at Goodwill Industries International. “With this investment, local Goodwills will connect our neighbors with effective and comprehensive education, employment and holistic essentials like housing, transportation, child care, financial planning and legal services. We use evidence-based approaches to understand individual needs and to help equip young people to achieve their goals.”

In 2018, 82,000 second chance individuals returning home used Goodwill services to pursue their education and employment goals and care for their families.

This new grant investment is operated by GII, and is funded 100 percent by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. The five local Goodwill organizations are contributing almost $600,000 in locally leveraged resources to support the project.

Malini Wilkes
Public Relations and Multimedia Manager
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5523
[email protected]

Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a network of 157 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 12 other countries. For the past three years, Goodwill was ranked in the top five brands that inspired consumers the most with its mission in the World Value Index, commissioned by the creative agency, enso. Goodwill has been on Forbes’ list of top 20 most inspiring companies for three consecutive years, the only nonprofit featured on that list.

Local Goodwill organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that offer job placement and training services, and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,300 stores collectively and online at®.

Goodwill helps people facing challenges find employment to advance their careers. Local Goodwill organizations build revenues and expand employment opportunities by contracting with commercial, state, government and non-government organizations to provide a wide range of business services, including janitorial and grounds maintenance, flexible staffing, food service, manufacturing and contracts packaging, reverse logistics, document imaging and shredding, and laundry services.

More than 33 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills, and nearly two million people received in-person services.

Goodwill is both an icon and accessible neighbor: more than 82 percent of the U.S. population resides within 10 miles of a Goodwill location.

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