In the midst of the ‘shecession’ and immense job loss, corporate America and nonprofit joining forces to put people back to work
MAY 4TH, 2021 — Goodwill, the leading workforce provider in North America, today announced a new, first-of-its-kind coalition called Rising Together™, which will work to create an equitable economic recovery and provide job seekers with the skills and supports needed to access sustainable jobs. Joining Goodwill with a goal of empowering one million people to access sustainable careers by 2025 are Fortune 50 companies and global philanthropic and business leaders, including the Anthem Foundation, Coursera, Google, Indeed and Lyft.
Together, Goodwill and its partners are providing resources to address the widening skills gap and the negative impact of the economic downturn brought on by the pandemic. The Rising Together™ coalition will provide a combination of holistic workforce services and supports, as well as build and expand upon programs that address the inequities and systemic barriers facing workers in our society the most. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2.3 million women have left the labor force, a phenomenon that is being called the ‘shecession,’ and many others remain out of work and without the skills needed to gain new employment. Nationwide, pandemic-related job loss has also had a disproportionate impact on Black and Hispanic men and women as well as those who do not have post-high school education.
In Iowa, the disparity in unemployment claims by gender over the course of the pandemic began in April of last year. According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, at that time women comprised 56.6% of people collecting unemployment insurance, while men accounted for 40.9%. Although the disparity reported decreased during 2020, the cause is not that women were entering the workplace, rather, it was due to women leaving the workforce entirely. Minorities in Iowa have also been negatively impacted. As of March, 2021, blacks who comprise 4% of Iowa residents, accounted for 12% of unemployment claims. Likewise, Hispanics who account for 6% of Iowa’s population have filed 11% of unemployment claims.
These powerhouse brands are on the frontlines of America’s workforce, hiring thousands of new employees each year. The coalition will use its combined hiring strength to support the holistic needs of job seekers — from providing essential transportation and broadband access to offering training opportunities and job search skills.
Rising Together™ jump-starts a vision for a future where there is a pathway to opportunity that is accessible by all. Together with Goodwill:
- Anthem Foundation will launch a healthcare career path training that will benefit thousands of individuals over the course of two years. The program will build healthcare employee pipelines while supporting healthcare workers affected by the pandemic. The training will ultimately lead to credentials, job placements, wage increases and benefits.
- Coursera, through its social impact program, will provide 2,000 scholarships to those hard-hit by the economic turndown, including people who are impacted by the criminal justice system, veterans and youth learners. Scholarship recipients will have free access to 4,000 courses as well as hands-on projects and professional certificates that teach job-relevant skills across business, technology and data science.
- Google will continue to support Goodwill in its efforts to deliver digital skills training across the United States through programs such as Google Career Certificates, which help job seekers prepare for in-demand jobs in less than six months without the need for a college degree or prior experience. Since 2017, more than 100 local Goodwill organizations have implemented the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator® in their communities, equipping more than one million people with digital skills and placing more than 170,000 of those individuals into employment.
- Indeed will help job seekers who are often overlooked or face challenges to finding work with skills-based assessments, job seeker support and employer hiring events. Indeed will work with Goodwill on a fellowship for women who have had to leave the workforce or were reduced to part-time work due to COVID-19 (either voluntarily or involuntarily). Goodwill’s collaboration with Indeed will also include the launch of the Indeed + Goodwill Digital Resource Guide, which will equip Goodwill organizations with best practices and recommendations on how to help people find jobs at Goodwill organizations and other employers.
- Lyft will continue investing in its LyftUp Jobs Access program, which launched in 2019 with a coalition of partners including Goodwill, to provide individuals access to the transportation they need to get to interviews, job training and/or the first weeks of work. To date, the program has supported job seekers with access to tens of thousands of rides.
“As we celebrate Mother’s Day, millions of women, mothers and families across North America are struggling, even as the country works toward recovery,” said Pat Airy, Goodwill of the Heartland CEO. “We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive in life, but, today, too many people are left out of that opportunity. We must ensure that people can equip themselves with the skills they need to compete for jobs in a changing economy. The Rising Together™ coalition is providing training and other critical services directly to the communities who need them the most.”
To learn more, contact Brent Watkins at (319) 248-4650 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Goodwill of the Heartland
The mission of Goodwill of the Heartland is to advance the social and economic well-being of people who experience barriers to independence. Goodwill offers life and job skill development, work experience, job placement assistance, day habilitation, supported community living, workforce services to employers and contract manufacturing, assembly and packaging. In 2019, Goodwill provided more than 20,000 services to people with barriers in its 19-county service area. For more information, including retail, donation and service locations, please visit www.goodwillheartland.org or call toll free 1-866-466-7881.