In the last two years, there has been a nationwide increase in labor shortages across a variety of industries. The preexisting skills gap, exacerbated by the pandemic, contributed to these labor shortages, and marginalized communities have experienced the most job insecurity and economic uncertainty. That’s why Goodwill® launched Rising Together™ last year with the goal of connecting more than one million people with sustainable careers by 2025.
Through this initiative, Goodwill partnered with the Anthem Foundation, Coursera, Indeed, Google and Lyft to provide workforce development programs across the nation in skilled trades, healthcare and technology/digital sectors. Job seekers — many of whom come from low-income backgrounds and don’t have access to supports such as skills building, child care, transportation or housing in some cases — have gained employment in new fields, experienced wage increases and enjoyed an overall improvement in the quality of their lives.
Trayvon Lowry is just one example of a multitude of individuals whose lives have improved following completion of Goodwill’s workforce development programs. Trayvon entered Goodwill of North Georgia’s program with a criminal background and graduated earlier this year with a forklift certification, a wage of $20/hour, and a pathway to move out of transitional housing and into his own apartment. He attributes his success to the support he received and the skills he gained at Goodwill.
Still, the economic recovery has not been equitable. More than 1.1 million fewer women are in the labor force than in February 2020, and the unemployment rate for Black women sits above the national average at 5.5 percent as of March 2022. To address the continued need to support individuals such as Trayvon in our communities, Goodwill is expanding the work of Rising Together™.
This week, Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. is announcing the addition of new partners to Rising Together™, including Accenture, Bank of America, Comcast Internet Essentials, Lowe’s and USAA. With these new partners, Goodwill and the Rising Together™ coalition will continue to drive an equitable economic recovery — beginning with providing every job seeker with the support they need to access good jobs, including skills training, transportation and internet access. To view Goodwill and its partners’ commitments to an equitable recovery and to hear from the coalition’s executives, visit Goodwill.org/Rising-Together.