Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana receives grant to educate, train and support young adults

by BIZ Magazine

Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana has received funding to support young adults involved with the justice system, as part of a 39-month, $4.5 million grant to Goodwill Industries International (GII) from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. 

Through the Life Launch program, Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana will fund training, education, employment, stabilization and holistic support to 108 young adults ages 18 to 24.  Goodwill intends to partner with state and local justice systems and local employers to offer a pipeline of talented candidates with the right skills for in-demand jobs. 

Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana is among five local Goodwill® organizations nationwide to receive the funds, which will support a total of 572young adults across the country. 

Work-based learning like apprenticeships, paid work experience or paid training, participants have the potential to earn a living while obtaining new skills. They will also have the opportunity to pursue education or occupational skills training to earn industry recognized credentials. All participants will receive holistic wrap-around services like coaching, mentoring and training to help them re-establish in their communities and with their families while preparing to earn, retain and advance in employment.

“For more than 90 years, Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana has been committed to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with young adults who are working to establish a path to stability and success,” said Lynn Stevens, Director of Workforce Development.  “With this investment, Goodwill will be able to connect young adults with effective and comprehensive education, employment and holistic essentials like housing, transportation, child care, financial planning and legal services to help equip them to achieve their goals.”

This new grant investment is operated by GII, and is funded 100 percent by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. The five local Goodwill organizations are contributing almost $600,000 in locally leveraged resources to support the project. 

Participants in GII’s existing young adult reentry program, also funded by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, have experienced a recidivism rate of only five percent since 2016, far below the national average of 44 percent. Seventy-three percent of enrolled young adults earned a degree or industry-recognized credentials, and 62 percent are earning paychecks.

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