Goodwill® Builds Skills And Expands Career Opportunities For Young Adults

·4 min read

Expanded Opportunity Funded by Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor

ROCKVILLE, Md., Dec. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on the success of an initiative aimed at partnering with community colleges to help young adults with justice involvement, Goodwill Industries international is expanding Goodwill LifeLaunch: Ignite to five additional cities. The opportunity provides holistic reintegration career advancement services for young adults ages 18-24 who have previous justice involvement and is made possible thanks to a grant investment from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

Goodwill Industries International, Inc. Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Goodwill Industries International, Inc.) (PRNewsfoto/Goodwill Industries Internationa)
Goodwill Industries International, Inc. Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Goodwill Industries International, Inc.) (PRNewsfoto/Goodwill Industries Internationa)

"Opportunities for young adults with justice involvement have always been limited and could be even more challenging with fierce competition as millions of people are still out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Steven C. Preston, president and CEO, Goodwill Industries International. "To succeed, they need advocates, skill-building opportunities, support systems and job placement services like those offered every day by experienced Goodwill nonprofit organizations."

Participating Goodwill organizations are chosen based on a number of factors, including community need; existing partnerships with community colleges, local criminal justice systems and employers; and the Goodwill organizations' experience in reentry and young adult services.

Goodwill organizations in five cities — Greenville, SC; Lexington, KY; Rockford, IL; Tallahassee, FL; and Tucson, AZ — are the newest locations offering Goodwill LifeLaunch: Ignite. They will provide in-person and/or virtual services to 550 eligible young adults. In 2019-20, these five Goodwill organizations collectively provided reentry services to 3,185 individuals, with job placement rates up to 82% and retention rates up to 79%.

The employment training opportunities implemented in each of the five cities will focus on in-demand jobs in local industries:

  • Greenville: warehouse and storage, manufacturing, and repair and maintenance

  • Lexington: manufacturing, building construction, information technology and culinary

  • Rockford: manufacturing, and warehouse and storage

  • Tallahassee: manufacturing, building construction, information technology, accounts and auditors, and industrial truck and tractor operators

  • Tucson: building construction, repair and maintenance, information technology, and automotive

"The skills training offered by LifeLaunch: Ignite are available at a crucial time, when the competition for entry-level work will be extraordinary and those with in-demand skills will be much better prepared to participate in the labor market," said Preston. "The need for reentry services is greater than ever, and that is why Goodwill has remained committed to providing skills building and employment assistance to job seekers, including people impacted by the criminal justice system."

LifeLaunch: Ignite is designed to strengthen communities through holistic services by helping participants become productive, contributing members of communities; gain long-term, financially sustaining employment; find sustainable housing; and address any potential substance use or mental health needs. Overall, Goodwill LifeLaunch: Ignite is required to meet goals aimed at creating better opportunities for young adults and safer communities for all. Participants in existing Goodwill LifeLaunch opportunities, also funded by the DOL, have experienced a recidivism rate of only 5% since 2016, far below the national average of 44%.

The four other Goodwill organizations that also offer LifeLaunch: Ignite are located in Atlanta, GA; Louisville, KY; Pittsburgh, PA; and Muskegon, MI.

The expansion of Goodwill LifeLaunch: Ignite is made possible with a $4.5 million young adult reentry partnership grant award from the DOL's Employment and Training Administration, covering 84% of operating costs. Goodwill is contributing leveraged funding valued at $862,236 to cover the remaining 16% of operational costs.

ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 156 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 12 other countries. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps people find employment, Goodwill is recognized with GuideStar's highest rating, the Platinum Seal of Approval.

Local Goodwill organizations offer employment opportunities, job placement and training services, and other community-based programs, funded by selling donated clothing and household items in nearly 3,300 stores and at shopgoodwill.com®.

For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, visit goodwill.org. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube: GoodwillIntl. Register for our Legislative Action Center via advocate.goodwill.org.

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SOURCE Goodwill Industries International

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