I grew up in Southeastern Ohio in the 1950’s. I was one of six children. We lived in a very rural area in the Appalachian region. There were small farms, and it was the heart of the strip mines. It was an economically depressed community. There were few jobs, but people had a resiliency and they took care of themselves and their families.
I worked many jobs as a young man. I was a potter, worked as a carpenter, planted trees in the strip mines, worked in a factory and drove a forklift, and was a substitute teacher among other things. But in 1974 I was lucky enough to find my way to the Goodwill in Zanesville, Ohio. Forty-two years later, I’m still as passionate about helping people find meaningful work as I was that first day on the job in 1974.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5.6 million job openings in the United States at the end of June. In observance of Labor Day, between August 30 and September 6, Goodwills across the country are challenging people to sign Goodwill’s #LaborOfLove pledge. The hope is to spread awareness about Goodwill and the importance of job placement and training programs for people looking for employment.
By signing the #LaborofLove pledge, you can raise awareness about Goodwill’s job training programs that assist people in obtaining skills and industry-recognized credentials. Last year, our Goodwill helped individuals earn more than 830 credentials and assisted 4,200 people to find jobs right here in Central and Southwest Virginia.
Goodwill wants to help business and industry close the skills gap in today’s workforce. This requires commitment to retraining and educating our workforce. Today you can help by clicking here to learn more about Goodwill and how individuals can support our efforts to put people to work.