Goodwill Helps Build Skills for Young Adults Involved with the Justice System

December 20, 2021

(Greenville, SC, December 16, 2021) Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina (GIUMSC) and Goodwill Industries International have partnered in a new opportunity, Goodwill LifeLaunch, to provide job skills and career training services in Greenville and Richland County, South Carolina for young adults, ages 18-24 with previous justice involvement. The opportunity is made possible thanks to a grant investment from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

GIUMSC is one of five Goodwill organizations in the United States chosen for this opportunity. As part of the LifeLaunch program, GIUMSC will provide employment training to young adults who were recently involved with the criminal justice system. GIUMSC’s Career Navigators will work with the participants to help them build skills through in-person and/or virtual educational and training opportunities at local community colleges and other resources throughout the Greenville and Richland County communities.

GIUMSC was chosen as a recipient of this grant based on a variety of criteria, including community need and existing partnerships with community colleges, local justice system providers and employers. In 2019-2020, GIUMSC served 2,869 individuals with a criminal background through their Mission Services program. 

“At Goodwill, we are committed to providing opportunities for everyone to create better futures for themselves by eliminating barriers and helping them reach their full potential through learning and the power of work,” said Rachel Putman, Vice President of Mission and People. “Opportunities like LifeLaunch are more important than ever before to prepare justice-involved young adults with in-demand skills for today’s labor market.”

LifeLaunch is designed to strengthen communal environments by helping participants become productive, contributing citizens; gain long-term, financially sustaining employment; find stable homes; and address any potential substance use or mental health needs. Overall, the program targets include reducing recidivism among participants to less than 20% while helping 65% of participants attain a credential and 70% earn a measurable skill.

Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina helps people become independent through education and training leading to employment.  Last year, Goodwill placed 7,680 people into employment through its job training programs and Goodwill Job Connection services.