On April 12 th, 110 Goodwill representatives from all across the nation attended the 9 th annual Goodwill Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Among those who met with lawmakers and their staff members were Goodwill executives, workforce development professionals, volunteer board members, and workforce program participants. Some of the high-priority topics advocates discussed with lawmakers were the re-authorization of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), protecting charitable giving tax incentives, and the continued federal funding for effective workforce development programs.
20-year-old Spokane Community College student Noelle Manusia received a scholarship to attend and speak with lawmakers. Attending with her was Next Gen Zone Career Specialist Stacey Wells, a Goodwill employee. Noelle has been a regular attendee of classes and workshops at the Next Generation Zone over the past two years. "At first I said no way, but I'm really happy I went and got out of my comfort zone," she said. A highlight of the trip was meeting Senator Maria Cantwell, who took the time to hear from each person present in their group.
Noelle was home-schooled her whole life, and the Next Generation Zone helped her to receive credit and attain her GED. She has also attended workshops, college prep, and participated in both the 21 st Century Skills Academy and YouthBuild. Noelle has now enrolled in the horticulture program at Spokane Community College, marking the first time she has ever attended classes in a traditional school setting. "It's not what I expected, but I like it," she said. Noelle continues to visit the Next Generation Zone for help with college and career planning.
Goodwill, as a member of the Spokane Workforce Consortium, serves as a partner operator in the Next Generation Zone and provides numerous workforce development services in the Spokane region and nationwide. To learn more about Goodwill visit: discovergoodwill.org