Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 18, 2013

Beyond Jobs program serving women nationwide

Staff report
The Independent

HUNTINGTON — Goodwill of the KYOWVA Area is one of 49 Goodwill agencies across the country to take part in an innovative program that provides job training and placement services to women.

The program, known as Beyond Jobs and funded through a $7.7 million grant from the Walmart Foundation, will now create a larger impact by reaching more women who are unemployed or underemployed. This new funding will help broaden the reach of a program that was started in 2010 in five U.S. markets serving 1,342 women, to serving an expected 12,250 women in 49 communities.

“We are very excited to be able to further assist the working women of the Tri-State” said Kimberly B. Lewis, CEO of Goodwill of KYOWVA. “Each woman in the program will receive a complete career assessment including job training, placement services and additional support to help them achieve economic security and advance in their careers.”

Beyond Jobs leverages Goodwill’s holistic approach to job training, placement and family financial support services. Over the 30-month grant period, Goodwill will work with women with low incomes to provide them the tools to achieve their educational, career and financial goals. Once participants are placed in jobs, they receive support to retain them, to further their education and to advance in careers within their chosen industries. Long-term unemployment among women remains a problem, both locally and nationwide. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, only 26 percent of the women who lost their jobs during the recession have regained them. Last year, more than one out of four women was still looking for work after more than a year of job hunting.

“Not only will this program help to place women, no matter their circumstances, in jobs, it will also give them everything they need to support themselves and their families, in the long term,” said Lewis. “Beyond Jobs fulfills Goodwill’s mission of generating economic opportunities for people who face challenges to finding employment — in this case, women of all backgrounds — to achieve career advancement and financial independence.”

 Among the tools provided by the Beyond Jobs program are continued financial education, family strengthening services, early education and child care assistance, and connections to healthy food and nutrition initiatives.

The Beyond Jobs program is a key element in Walmart achieving the goals of its Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, one of which is to help 200,000 U.S. women from low-income households with workforce readiness through job training, education, career counseling, and mentoring. For more information, visit corporate.walmart.com/women.