Goodwill generated $1 billion in economic impact in 2022Image provided to Decaturish.
This story has been updated.
Atlanta, GA — Goodwill helped generate $1 billion in economic impact for the state last year, according to the organization’s 2022 annual impact report
In Georgia, there are four organizations that makeup Goodwill as a whole – Goodwill of North Georgia, Goodwill of Southeast Georgia, Goodwill of Middle Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area, and Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers. Between those four organizations, Goodwill significantly impacted the state’s economy last year. Top job placements across Georgia include warehousing and storage, rental and leasing, administrative support, and food and retail services.
“Most years we get together and have a study commissioned to look at the economic impact of what we’re doing as nonprofit organizations,” said Keith Parker, president and chief executive officer of Goodwill of North Georgia. “This most recent effort brought back results that we were all quite pleased with in terms of the economic impact that our respective agencies are having.
Goodwill of North Georgia is one of the largest retail operations and workforce training agencies in Georgia with a mission to put people to work, according to a press release. The impact report highlights the agency’s success in contributing to the state’s growing employment and fiscal impact rates.
In 2022, Goodwill of North Georgia employed and connected 19,254 people with work opportunities. Goodwill of North Georgia generated an economic output of about $697 million, and the average hourly wage for jobseekers was $15.17. When calculating economic output, the impact report looks at the average wages of those Goodwill serves and the money they spend that goes back into the economy.
“The fact that we’ve been able to not only help many of our folks find jobs, now we’re transitioning more and more people into working class, living wage types of positions, and it’s having a bigger impact,” Parker said.
Goodwill of North Georgia’s 14 career centers works to provide no-cost job training, placement, case management, work support, paid internships, and opportunities to individuals in need. This includes several training programs for participants, like customer service, environmental services, phlebotomy, welding, youth employment services, and highway construction. Goodwill of North Georgia also provides a stipend and transportation for those who participate in the training programs.
Some of the key takeaways from the annual impact report include more people seeking full-time positions with benefits, as well as more women and Black men getting back into full-time jobs, Parker said. He added that to help a distressed family, one of the big things Goodwill can do to help is get at least one person in that family a job.
“In metro Atlanta, unfortunately, we still have the distinction for almost 10 straight years, where in certain zip codes this is the most difficult place in the country to get out of poverty,” Parker said. “We know that, whether it’s through the workforce training or a whole host of other things that we do, if we can help at least one person in need get a meaningful job and then onto a better job and onto a career that gets them out of poverty. We’ve seen some significant inroads in that regard as well.”
From 2012 through 2022, Goodwill has continued to put people to work and contribute to Georgia’s job growth, livable wage opportunities, and total economic output numbers, including 183,056 job placements and a total economic output of $8.9 billion.
“As we celebrate our 98 years of service, we are thrilled by the tremendous impact we continue to provide in communities across North Georgia,” Parker added in the press release. “Our career centers allow individuals to obtain proper job training, gain life changing employment opportunities, and contribute to the state’s growing economic impact. In fact, we are pleased to report that just last month Goodwill of North Georgia placed more than 2,900 people in jobs – 81 percent of those being living wage positions. Additionally, in the last four out of five months, we’ve already confirmed the highest placement numbers we’ve ever had as an agency. 2023 is gearing up to be one of our most groundbreaking years to date.”
Parker also encouraged the community to continue to donate lightly used items to Goodwill.
“Donations are the lifeblood of what we do,” Parker said. “Without donations, none of the rest of this social enterprise that we’ve got going works.”
Goodwill of North Georgia also still has the capacity for career counseling and workforce development. For more information about Goodwill’s services, click here.
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