Contributed to the Opelika Observer
Goodwill Southern Rivers (GoodwillSR) announced last week it has received a significant, unsolicited gift in the amount of $10 million from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The gift is part of a large initiative funded by Scott through which 384 organizations received funding.
The investment comes at a time when more than 100 million Americans are unemployed and urgently need help finding work to support their families. This gift will enable Goodwill to expand its efforts and deliver its mission locally to equip Americans with the skills they need to get back to work and onto sustainable career paths. The $10 million gift from Scott will help accelerate its plan to address growing workforce needs as demands for targeted skills in the labor market increase, which make it difficult for many people to compete for new jobs.
Goodwill’s mission is to change lives through the power of work by offering a host of free services to support the employment-related needs of the community. These free services include job readiness and skills training, including digital skills, certifications and credentials, GED preparation and testing, veteran’s services, free tax preparation and employment placement.
With nine career centers and four training centers across their 50-county territory, approximately 30,000 individuals have used Goodwill’s services so far this year, including 4,200 individuals directly connected to jobs. These free services have historically been funded almost entirely by the sale of donated goods in its retail stores.
As the country’s largest nonprofit workforce development provider, Goodwill is dedicated to closing the skills gap and eliminating barriers that often stand in the way of securing meaningful employment.
“This money will result in a direct infusion of capital into the 50-county territory we serve,” said Goodwill President and CEO Jack Warden. “This incredible gift will allow us to expand our services and do things we could only dream about before. Over the next few months, we will be working hard and collaborating on how best to use this gift in order to not only put people back to work but equip them for the future.”
Individuals who are in need of assistance with their job search, have career questions or need help with career skills to gain employment should contact the Goodwill Career Center nearest you and speak with a career center specialist.
About Goodwill Southern Rivers:
Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers (GoodwillSR) is one of 157 independent, community-based Goodwill nonprofits across the United States and Canada. Headquartered in Columbus, Georgia, GoodwillSR serves 50 counties throughout east Alabama and west Georgia. We provide employment readiness training, computer access, educational assistance, skills workshops and more to spur job placement and economic stability in the communities we serve. We can provide these and other programs thanks to the continued donations of giving patrons. We use the revenue generated in GoodwillSR stores to fund the majority of our community services. For more information about Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers, visit www.goodwillsr.org.