Walmart Foundation and Goodwill® Assist Single Mothers

$2.5 Million Grant Creates “Beyond Jobs” program, helps women find employment, advance in their careers and ensure long-term financial stability for their families

ROCKVILLE, MD A new program, funded by the Walmart Foundation and administered by Goodwill®, empowers single mothers with all the tools they need to find employment, succeed in the workplace and permanently support their families. The Walmart Foundation’s grant of $ 2.5 million will support the program, known as Beyond Jobs, at Goodwill agencies in the five key markets of Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles County, Detroit, and New York City, through 2012.  The funding has already assisted single mothers with job training and placement at select locations.
In addition to job training and placement, the program also supports each woman’s continued success by designing an individualized, holistic plan that outlines how they will retain their jobs, advance in their careers, and ensure long-term financial stability for themselves and their children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, twenty-six percent of all children now grow up in families headed by single mothers, many of whom face significant struggles. Single mothers are twice as likely to be unemployed as married women, and during the current economic crisis the unemployment rate for single mothers has ballooned to 12.3 percent, the highest rate ever recorded according to the National Women’s Law Center.
“At Goodwill, we know just how much of a difference a good job can make to a parent in need,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “But we also know that finding a job is just the first step. Beyond Jobs continues to help mothers and families by giving each woman the full set of tools she needs to develop her career and support her family.”
Each participant in the Beyond Jobs program receives a complete career assessment, individualized career planning, job skills training and assistance with job placement. Recognizing that landing a job is only one step on the road to success, Beyond Jobs also provides mothers with continued financial education, family strengthening services, early education and child care assistance, and connections to healthy food and nutrition initiatives.
“Now more than ever, we are looking for ways to provide opportunities for those who are out of work and facing tough times,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “This grant to Goodwill will support single mothers across the country by assuring they have access to gaining the necessary skills for today’s jobs. We are pleased to support this project because it gives single mothers the opportunity to continue to play a vital role in the workforce while providing for themselves and their families.”
One participant of the program is already seeing success after entering the Beyond Jobs program at Goodwill Industries® of Greater Detroit (MI) in November of 2010. She had overcome a troubled past, but with few job skills,  was nervous about seeking employment on her own. Beyond Jobs team members worked with her to develop an individualized career plan aimed at identifying key changes she could make in her life to ensure a more stable future for her family. Beyond Jobs staff also helped her find a full-time job at Green Works Recycling, a subsidiary of the Detroit Goodwill®. Her display of excitement ignites the entire group of women currently enrolled in the Detroit Goodwill’s Beyond Jobs program, and she will continue to receive skills training and family support to ensure she is able to advance in her career and support her family.
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