On May 16th, advocates from Goodwill organizations nationally participated in Goodwill’s Annual Advocacy Day in support of better job opportunities for U.S. workers. Goodwill advocates met with hundreds of lawmakers and staff on Capitol Hill to urge Congress to protect investments that leverage Goodwill’s infrastructure, resources and expertise in job training and employment. The event is the centerpiece of Goodwill Industries International’s seventh annual Advocacy Day. “The nation’s unemployment picture is slowly improving after the most difficult labor period in a generation,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO, Goodwill Industries International “Nonetheless, we are continuing to see increased demand for our job training and employment services, which are being threatened by government spending restrictions. Now is the time for Goodwill advocates to inform members of Congress about the ongoing need for job services, especially for those Americans who face challenges to gaining or maintaining employment.” Among the high-priority items for Ohio Valley Goodwill and the other independent Goodwill agencies from around the country are: • The Charitable Deduction – The work of organizations such as Goodwill is made possible by the generosity of Americans whose donations support charitable causes. Proposals to limit the charitable giving incentive in order to increase government revenues are likely to reduce resources for charities at a time when resources are shrinking and service requests are increasing. • Non-defense Discretionary Funds – While retail operations generate the bulk of the funding that Ohio Valley Goodwill and other Goodwill agencies need to provide employment services, government resources are essential in making up the difference. These resources have declined over the past decade, and Goodwill believes Congress should protect investments in employment and training programs rather than restrict them. • The AbilityOne Program – The largest provider of employment opportunities for people who are blind or who have significant disabilities, the AbilityOne Program allows Ohio Valley Goodwill and more than 75 other community-based Goodwill agencies to collectively employ some 7,000 individuals. These services are being negatively and disproportionately impacted by the government’s automatic spending cuts. Become an advocate for individuals looking for meaningful employment. Write your local Member of Congress to take immediate action today: http://www.goodwill.org/get-involved/advocate/action-center/ On behalf of Ohio Valley Goodwill locally, we appreciate your support which has allowed us to serve men and women with disabilities and our nation’s veterans in the Greater Cincinnati area for more than 97 years. It is your generous donations to Goodwill that help us put people to work!