U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) are two of the nine members of Congress who received a Policymaker Leader Award from Goodwill Industries International. The award honors elected officials who support the Goodwill® public policy agenda. Both of the senators were selected because of their commitment to eliminating barriers and improving quality of life for West Virginians. Nominated by Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley (Charleston, WV), awardees were announced during a reception on April 19th as part of Goodwill’s annual advocacy event.
Sen. Capito made a strong commitment to addressing the skills gap that the opioid epidemic has created for many West Virginians and those receiving services from Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley, Inc. [GIKV]. The Goodwill provides provides education, training and skills for people with disabilities and barriers to employment, including those suffering from and recovering from opioid addictions. The senator continues to serve as a front-facing advocate on this issue.
She has introduced legislation to assist with staving off continuation of the crisis and minimizing the collateral damage that proper recovery times can create. Examples of her work include:
- Introducing the Targeted Opioid Formula Act, requiring the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to evaluate mortality rates and lack of access to treatment and services when allocating State Targeted Response Opioid Crisis Grants, rather than making grant determinations for states based on population size.
- Hosting an Opioids Roundtable in Charleston with representatives from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) letting them hear from the people of West Virginia about the realities of the opioid epidemic.
Sen. Manchin is a strong advocate for veterans, older job seekers, those struggling financially, and those who have dealt with addiction. He is a huge support of the local Goodwill. Whether it’s providing funding for vital programs and jobs opportunities or words of encouragement to staff and program participants, he has made himself a resource at Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley, Inc.
He has also been involved with legislation and on committees that address local issues head on. Examples include:
- Involvement with the Clean Start Act, whereby individuals who have completed a drug offense sentence commit to a year of addiction treatment and an additional year as a mentor and, in return, have the opportunity to have their cases revisited by a judge for one-time expunction of record.
- Supported improved funding and quality performance for Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), workforce training and Perkins funding to narrow middle skill-gaps with the help of community and technical colleges.
“A valuable part of recovery is providing skills, job training and a second chance at having meaningful work. Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley is proud to be part of helping our neighbors get back on their feet through the power of work, and we sincerely thank Sens. Capito and Manchin for their impact and continued support on combatting these obstacles,” said Cheryl A. Bever, President and CEO, Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley.
Since 1902, Goodwill has been helping people find jobs, build their financial stability, earn paychecks, and enhance their skills. This work has helped millions of people build their careers and experience the pride and sense of community that work brings.