The organization revealed the encouraging statistics in the following news release:
With the current Arkansas unemployment rate at a new high of 8.2-percent, more and more people are turning to Goodwill Industries of Arkansas for skills assessment, training and job search assistance, giving them a leg up in a depressed economy.
In Goodwill's most recent fiscal year which ended June 30th, the agency provided job readiness training, education and other services to more than 5,000 people, a 57-percent increase over the previous year. Of those, Goodwill helped 648 people obtain employment, a 96-percent increase.
"While most of us see Labor Day as a time for picnics and celebrations, more than 110,000 of our neighbors are still without work and some have remained so for a very long time," said Brian Itzkowitz, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Arkansas. "Goodwill remains the pivotal link between skills development and employment. We're doing what we've always done -- helping people learn the skills they need to find and keep good jobs. We help anybody and it's free."
Goodwill's expertise in workforce development and its strong linkages with local businesses make it the logical first choice for employment assistance for both the newly unemployed and those who've struggled to find work for many weeks.
Goodwill is not only training people for jobs, the organization is providing jobs for the community as well. In the past two years, Goodwill has opened nine new locations and added over 200 jobs to the Arkansas economy.