Agency Provides Ongoing Supports and Services for Workers
Rockville, MD — As a means of honoring the economic and social contributions of U.S. workers, Labor Day first became a federal holiday 120 years ago, in 1894. Just eight years later, the Rev. Edgar J. Helms founded Goodwill Industries®. Then, as today, Goodwill has been providing the programs and supports that workers need to achieve their full potential, throughout North America.
“We are reminded on Labor Day of the power of work to transform lives,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “Good-paying jobs allow people from all backgrounds to support themselves and their families, and contribute to the country’s economic vitality. And those who are unemployed invariably struggle to make ends meet.”
Recent government statistics show that the number of unemployed Americans has hovered right around the 10 million mark this year, showing a slight improvement from 2013 figures. In addition, approximately 2 million people are described as being marginally attached to the labor market. That means they wanted to and were available for work, but hadn’t looked for a job in the previous month. Among those, approximately 700,000 Americans are considered discouraged workers, meaning they’ve stopped looking for work because they believe no jobs exist for them.
Goodwill works hard to meet the needs of all job seekers. In the past year, Goodwill agencies helped more than 9.8 million people train for careers in industries such as banking, IT and health care. Goodwill also provided the supporting services workers need to be successful, such as English language training, youth mentoring, and access to transportation and child care.
Everyone can take part. By donating to Goodwill of donors help create opportunities for those looking for work. That’s because the items sold in Goodwill stores go to fund Goodwill’s skills training and job placement services for people throughout the region.