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Tuesday, Aug 9, 2022
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Goodwill to Promote Job Services

As the Los Angeles area faces an existential unemployment crisis in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Goodwill Southern California is launching a marketing campaign to promote its employment services.The initiative, called “Do Good, Do Goodwill,” is a call for workers affected by layoffs or job cuts due to the virus to check in with the nonprofit’s career centers for one-on-one skills assessments, training classes and job placement with local employers. A “Do Goodwill” website will go live this month and will market to both Goodwill’s customer and donor bases. Goodwill SoCal is headquartered in Los Angeles and has career resource centers in Pacoima, Panorama City and two in Santa Clarita.Director of Leadership Giving James Cheydleur said most people still think of Goodwill as a thrift store chain, and many don’t know about the company’s career service line of business, which is funded in part by those same thrift stores. “Part of this campaign, one of the main objectives is to raise awareness that Goodwill has the expertise and is taking action to help with this unemployment crisis, which we believe is going to be a problem even after a vaccine, even after the health crisis is over. We’re all going to continue to feel this economic crisis,” he said. He added Goodwill’s staffing programs have historically focused on helping people who face barriers to employment, such as veterans, formerly incarcerated people, at-risk youth, individuals with disabilities or homeless people. The economic fallout from the coronavirus has disproportionately affected those populations, especially in Black and Latino communities in Southern California.“We’re trying to make sure we’re helping people who have been the most affected,” Cheydleur said. In May, during the worst stretch of the pandemic, Goodwill SoCal launched the COVID-19 Jobs Accelerator Fund to ensure the continuation of its job consultation, assessment and placement services, which are free for program participants. That fund has received donations from oil company Arco, headquartered in La Palma, which gave nearly $150,000, and the James Irvine Foundation in San Francisco, which pledged $200,000, Cheydleur said. Goodwill also partnered with rideshare company Lyft to provide free transportation to service recipients as they move through the employment pipeline. A report published Sept. 18 by the California Economic Development Department measured the state unemployment rate in August at 11.4 percent.Leisure and hospitality sectors, including hotel jobs, recorded the biggest losses that month, with nearly 15,000 jobs lost – bad news for an L.A. economy that relies heavily on entertainment, tourism and business travel. Goodwill itself laid off thousands of workers as thrift stores closed due to coronavirus regulations this spring and summer, but Cheydleur said the company has started hiring people back as it ramps up thrift store operations again.

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