Goodwill® Announces Commitment to Expand Employment Opportunities for Youth

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Goodwill Commits to the White House Summer Jobs+ Initiative

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Goodwill Industries International has announced its commitment to expand job opportunities for youth as a nonprofit partner of the White House Summer Jobs+ initiative. The initiative, launched today at a day-long summit, is a call-to-action for businesses, nonprofits and the government to work together to provide pathways to employment for youth ages 16-24 who are low-income or face disadvantages to finding employment and related opportunities – whom they are referencing as “opportunity youth.”

Goodwill® is proud to be one of the first organizations to support the Summer Jobs+ program. Goodwill creates employment and job training opportunities through the revenue generated from the sale of goods at more than 2,600 stores and online through its unique social enterprise business model. For more than a century, Goodwill has made youth a focus by helping them overcome disadvantages and avoid delinquency through financial education, mentoring, and job readiness skills training including résumé writing and interview preparation.

This year, Goodwill will expand services for opportunity youth at the beginning of their careers by hiring 1,200 youth ages 16 to 24. The 158 Goodwill headquarter agencies across the United States will provide more than 3,200 youth with life skills services including communications, time management and teamwork and more than 2,300 youth with work skills services. In addition, 2,000 youth will be provided learn and earn opportunities, where they will gain the ability to acquire their first paid employment position either through the form of paid internships or permanent positions that provide on-the-job training at Goodwill locations. Thousands of additional youth will also be provided with virtual career mentoring and exploration services.

The Summer Jobs+ initiative was created in response to research that shows that at least one in six young people ages 16-24 are disconnected from the two systems that offer the greatest hope for their future: school and work. Through Summer Jobs+, Goodwill and other organizations will collectively commit to creating nearly 180,000 employment opportunities for these youth in the summer of 2012, with a goal of reaching 250,000 opportunities by the start of summer. At least 100,000 of these will be placements in paid jobs and internships.

Goodwill President and CEO Jim Gibbons is part of the White House Council for Community Solutions (WHCCS), which is working to unite all sectors to provide ongoing life skills needed for youth to access relevant education, training and social supports for long-term employment. As part of the Summer Jobs+ launch, Gibbons led a breakout session with administration officials, businesses, content experts, companies, educational leaders, and nonprofits on the most common challenges that organizations face in successfully reaching the youth demographic and how to create a system to ensure that every young person is given the opportunity to realize his or her potential and attain employment.

“The youth of today are not just the leaders of the future; they also have the potential to be the leaders of the now,” said Gibbons. “Goodwill’s pledge to Summer Jobs+ reflects our demonstration to youth to utilize their untapped skills and leadership, and complete their educations, attain jobs and transition into productive careers.”

As part of Summer Jobs+, the White House will also launch Summer Jobs+ Bank within the next 60 days, a one-stop search tool for youth to access postings for any participating employers seeking to reach them where they are online.

A new analysis released today by the WHCCS showed that in 2011 alone, taxpayers shouldered more than $93 billion in direct costs and lost tax revenue to support young adults disconnected from school and work. To read the analysis released by the WHCCS, visit: Read the full analysis here.

To read the press release from the White House, visit or

Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based, independent agencies in the United States and Canada with 14 affiliates in 13 other countries. Goodwill is one of the nation’s top five most valuable and recognized nonprofit brands as well as a leading social services enterprise (Source: Cone Nonprofit Power Brand 100, 2009). Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 2,600 stores and online at Local Goodwill agencies also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation and document imaging and shredding. Last year, more than 2.4 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill channels 84 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services. To find your local Goodwill, use the online locator at or call (800) GOODWILL.

Lauren Lawson-Zilai
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5266


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Lauren Lawson
Goodwill Industries International
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