SOURCE: Goodwill Industries International

October 22, 2007 12:00 ET

Goodwill Industries Lobbies for a Diverse and Skilled Workforce

Goodwill Holds Inaugural Advocacy Day on October 24

ROCKVILLE, MD--(Marketwire - October 22, 2007) - More than 60 Goodwill representatives from across the United States will gather on Capitol Hill on October 24 to advocate on behalf of people with disabilities, low-wage workers and other job seekers who are trying to enter the workforce for the first time or advance their careers.

"The U.S. is facing a shortage of skilled workers, and hundreds of thousands of people either unemployed or under-employed," says George W. Kessinger, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "It's time for Congress to invest in the American worker and focus on policies that will help people find and keep good jobs and move up the career ladder."

Goodwill will offer recommendations to Congress on several important pieces of legislation, including:

--  Reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998:  Goodwill
    urges Congress to affirm the importance of a universally accessible system
    of one-stop career centers that meets the needs of both workers and
    business. Congress should prioritize access for individuals with
    disabilities, the chronically unemployed, welfare recipients and those with
    limited English proficiency, and support training programs that provide
    opportunities for low-wage workers and those with disabilities to move up
    the career ladder.
    
--  Second Chance Act:  Goodwill supports passage of the Second Chance
    Act, which would help reduce criminal recidivism by allocating the
    necessary funds to support such services as job training, the development
    of healthy child-parent relationships, substance abuse treatment, and
    services for both physical and mental illness.
    
--  AbilityOne (formerly know as Javits-Wagner-O'Day or JWOD Act):  The
    AbilityOne program is the largest provider of employment opportunities for
    those who are either blind or have severe disabilities, employing nearly
    45,000 people through more than 600 nonprofit agencies.  Through
    AbilityOne, the nonprofit agencies provide a broad range of commercial
    services to the federal government, such as document management, food
    service and janitorial.  Goodwill believes Congress should increase
    employment and choice of employment settings within the AbilityOne program;
    promote, encourage, and develop procurement opportunities through which
    more jobs are created; and ensure compliance and integrity within the
    program.
    
--  IRA Savings Legislation (H.R. 3696):  Goodwill calls on Congress to
    modify the nation's disability policies to exclude 401(k) and IRA
    retirement accounts from federally funded means-tested benefits, so that
    all Americans, including people with disabilities, can pursue a path to
    self-sufficiency and financial independence.
    

"Goodwill's goal is to ensure that Congress provides proper funding and creates incentives to ensure that our workforce development system is responsive to the diverse needs of people who want to work," says Kessinger. "We need policies that recognize the social and financial benefits of moving people off public assistance, into good jobs and toward financial independence."

Contact Information

  • Contact
    Christine Nyirjesy Bragale, ABC
    Director, Media Relations
    Goodwill Industries International
    Tel. (240) 333-5264
    newsroom@goodwill.org