SOURCE: Goodwill Industries International

Goodwill Industries International

April 22, 2009 12:28 ET

Goodwill Advocates Urge Congress to Invest in the American Worker

Goodwill Holds Annual Advocacy Day on April 28

ROCKVILLE, MD--(Marketwire - April 22, 2009) - More than 85 representatives from Goodwill Industries® will gather on Capitol Hill April 28, to urge Congress to invest in the American workforce through federal job training programs.

"The national unemployment rate has risen to 8.5 percent, the highest in 25 years, and 13.2 million Americans are out of work," said Jim Gibbons, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "Job training programs, like those offered by Goodwill Industries International and its 160 independent, community-based headquarter agencies nationwide, are helping those who are affected by the recession. Now is the time to invest in our most valuable economic resource -- the American worker."

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

Javits-Wagner-O'Day (JWOD) Act/AbilityOne Program: Through more than 600 nonprofit agencies, the AbilityOne Program creates employment opportunities for nearly 45,000 people who are either blind or have significant disabilities. These workers provide a broad range of commercial services to the federal government including document management, food service and janitorial services. Goodwill urges Congress to support legislation to improve and modernize the AbilityOne Program; promote, encourage and develop procurement opportunities that lead to the creation of more jobs; and ensure compliance and integrity within the program.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA): Goodwill urges Congress to reauthorize WIA. The reauthorization will improve access to employment and training opportunities for people having a hard time finding work, whether it is because of a disability, lack of education or job experience, or other challenges. It will also encourage community-based organizations to operate one-stop career centers and direct funds for job training and services for youth with disabilities who are transitioning from special education to adult life.

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA): Goodwill supports a common sense solution to CPSIA that protects children and allows Goodwill to continue to provide job training programs and career placement services at the level that local communities need in these tough economic times. Goodwill recommends that Congress pass legislation that excludes used children's products from the CPSIA. We urge lawmakers to remove the retroactive language from the legislation, therefore making it applicable to only products manufactured after February 10, 2009.

Federal Funding: Goodwill recommends that Congress invest in harder-to-serve populations and others with challenges to finding employment by providing adequate funding for WIA, vocational rehabilitation, Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), the Second Chance Act, green jobs, and AgrAbility.

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