ROCKVILLE, Md., May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- No doubt about it, times are tough. People in local communities and indeed throughout the nation are struggling to find and keep good jobs. But, even in the toughest of times, Goodwill® has reason to celebrate. Last year, 6.7 million people who were struggling to find and keep good jobs benefited from the public's donations, an annual increase of more than fifty-nine percent.
Every year since 1951, Goodwill agencies across the United States and Canada have marked the first full week of May as Goodwill Industries Week, a commemoration that celebrates new jobs and changed lives. As is Goodwill's tradition, from May 5 –11, Goodwill Industries Week will include a variety of events including more than 160 on-the-ground fairs and several local donation drives and celebrations reflecting on how the social enterprise has grown with the times yet kept true to its founding values.
In addition, Goodwill will be celebrating Goodwill Industries Week through an inaugural Virtual Career Fair specifically targeted toward women, youth, veterans and military families. Goodwill funds its job training and placement programs by selling donations of gently used clothing, household items, and other used goods, in both stores and online, and uses the revenue to support people who are both unemployed or underemployed. Goodwill's career services and integrated programs are uniquely customized to meet the needs of job seekers."When you give to Goodwill, you are helping people who lack education or work experience, those who have a physical or mental disability, seniors, veterans reintegrating into society and anyone with a disadvantaging condition," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "As one of North America's top five most valuable and recognized nonprofit brands – and the leading nonprofit provider of employment programs for people who face challenges to finding employment – Goodwill has been helping people gain the opportunity to become self-sufficient through the power of hard work for 111 years." In 2012, Goodwill revenues topped $4.8 billion. Nearly 82 percent of those funds went directly toward supporting and growing employment placement programs and other support services — including financial education, youth mentoring and transportation — for people in communities across the United States and Canada. In addition, the organization placed nearly 217,000 people into employment — 27,000 more than last year — in a variety of business ventures and high-growth industries. These fields included banking, education and social services, heath care, and hospitality. "Every 33 seconds of every business day, someone finds a job through Goodwill," said Gibbons. "Every 5 seconds, another person accesses Goodwill opportunities to build careers and strong families."