Low Unemployment Rate Still Has Some Left Out

Goodwill Southwest Florida Strengthens Services for those with Barriers
By: Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida
LABELLE, Fla. - Aug. 20, 2019 - PRLog -- Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida (SWFL) is intensifying its services to help build the skills of those most difficult to employ. With job growth on the rise in a robust economy and now more people than ever entering the labor force, those with challenges or low-skill-levels are struggling to compete.  Goodwill SWFL realizes the crucial need to assist those with multiple barriers to self-sufficiency, including lack of computer access and digital training skills. Existing Job-Link Centers are being rebranded as Community Resource Centers (CRCs) and will be focused on up-skilling and family strengthening while connecting those most in need with services.

"For some, navigating through the social service system to access assistance can be overwhelming," explains Fred Richards, Goodwill SWFL VP of Community Support Services.  "We are providing assistance on an individualized basis, based on the needs of the person or family at the time they access our services."

The goal of the CRC is to help build independence through training and supports, and increase access to community resources for those who struggle with the application process.  Services will be structured to address areas critical to a family's success such as employment, financial literacy, healthcare, food stamps, language barriers, childcare and more. Additionally, Goodwill has added digital training to their toolbox, offering free certificate courses and online workshops designed to improve employability.

"We are increasing access to digital training and certifications demonstrating digital competency," states Richards. "We want to address the Digital Divide. The negative implications of not having technological access will affect a family's personal and financial capacity."

Every year, the number of jobs requiring digital skills increases. Up-skilling in digital literacy will be imperative for those who have already left the education system and want to maintain viable in the workforce.  Soft skill training is another area that can improve employability. Additional certificate training and credentialing can lead to career advancement, which ultimately leads to wage gain. Limited income and absence of savings leaves a household vulnerable to unexpected expenses.

"They are working hard, but fall short of what they need to cover the basic costs of living consistently," states Richards. "Unable to save for the future, they are vulnerable to a single emergency that can push them into crisis and even further into poverty."

In addition to community services, CRCs will also house veteran and employee services under their umbrellas. Initially, the rebranding will roll out in Glades and Hendry counties where there is a high need for available, centralized resources. With a focus on self-sufficiency and training, Goodwill SWFL is moving forward to address the needs of the community as the economy changes.

Debra Donatto
Email:***@goodwillswfl.org Email Verified
Location:LaBelle - Florida - United States
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