Every now and then we like to show you what you’re supporting when you’re supporting Goodwill. Most people think Goodwill is all about thrift stores. While our thrift stores are amazing and full of great donated finds, they’re just a sliver of the story. Our stores provide job opportunities for those looking to reenter the workforce – but even that isn’t the full story. Here’s the full story: we have 84 programs in Greater New York and Northern New Jersey serving over 164,000 people a year – people looking for work skills, life skills, and the self-esteem that comes with a paycheck and a plan to get back on track.

Where does your Goodwill go? Towards single mothers looking for a plan.

In honor of Women’s History Month and the women who are actively rebuilding their lives and their personal histories, here’s one of our newest programs, one designed specifically for single mothers in New York City, Greater New York & Northern New Jersey:

Beyond Jobs, a new program funded by the Walmart Foundation and operated by Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, assists single mothers with job training and placement, and also helps plan for their continued success. Goodwill works with each woman to create an individualized, holistic plan that outlines how she will gain and retain a job, advance in her career, and ensure long-term financial stability for her family.

Twenty-six percent of all children now grow up in families headed by single mothers, many of whom face significant struggles in this brutal economic climate. Single mothers are twice as likely to be unemployed as married women, and during the current economic crisis, the unemployment rate for single mothers has ballooned to 12.3 percent, the highest rate ever recorded.

“Finding a steady job is a top-of-mind issue for every unemployed single mother, but the struggle doesn’t end when she finds a job,” says William J. Forrester, Goodwill’s President and CEO. “Goodwill’s Beyond Jobs program helps mothers and families by providing more than a job, giving each woman the full set of tools she needs to support her family today and in the future.”

Each participant in the Beyond Jobs program receives a complete career assessment, individualized career planning, job skills training, and assistance with job placement. Recognizing that landing a job is only one step on the road to success, Beyond Jobs also provides mothers with continued financial education, family strengthening services, early education and child care assistance, and connections to healthy food and nutrition initiatives.

If you’d like more information on the program, please leave a comment below or email Natalie Bryan, the Beyond Jobs program coordinator at nbryan@goodwillny.org. And if you’re wondering what you can do to help, just keep on shopping, donating, and spreading the Goodwill. Happy Women’s History Month and happy thrifting, Goodwill fans!

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