Rising Together – Q&A

What is Rising Together?

Rising Together™ is an initiative by Goodwill® and its partners who are on a mission to increase access to careers for more than one million people by 2025. As one of North America’s leading workforce providers, Goodwill is partnering with a growing collective of global and philanthropic leaders who are working together to provide individuals with the skills and critical services needed to access sustainable jobs that lead to stable, well-paying careers with potential for growth.

Who are the Rising Together coalition partners? 

Rising Together™ initially launched in May 2021 in partnership with Anthem Foundation, Coursera, Google.org, Indeed and Lyft. In May 2022, Goodwill announced five new partnerships with Accenture, Bank of America, Comcast Internet Essentials, Lowe’s, and USAA, who are joining Rising Together™. Together, these partnerships are expanding the initiative’s reach and impact to help families recover from the economic turmoil caused by COVID-19.

Why is Rising Together important?

While the U.S. economy is improving and the national unemployment rate continues to decline, the recovery has not been equitable for all Americans. Rising Together™ is connecting people, particularly those from populations that have been historically marginalized, with a wide range of resources, including skills training, transportation and internet access to support entrance and longevity in the workforce.

In addition, amid severe labor shortages and skills gaps in a variety of industries, including health services, manufacturing and technology, Rising Together™ is focusing on enabling people with low incomes, women, Black and Hispanic individuals, veterans, and people impacted by the criminal justice system by providing the resources to build skills needed for jobs.

How is Rising Together helping people reenter the workforce?

Over the last year, Rising Together™ helped people in 33 states and Canada access job training programs, transportation services, childcare and more, providing the skills and other services people need to both enter and stay in the workforce.

With the combined strength of all its partners, Rising Together™ is growing to include more local Goodwill communities and provide expanded access to digital skills training, healthcare career development, virtual reality interview practices and more.

How does Rising Together™ unlock opportunities for local Goodwill organizations?  

Rising Together™ presents an opportunity for Goodwill to engage with marquee corporate names to provide individuals with the skills and critical services needed to access sustainable jobs that lead to stable, well-paying careers with potential for growth. These partners strategically align with our mission and, in many cases, this partnership provides the first opportunity we’ve had to engage with these key companies and brands.

By partnering with Goodwill, the Rising Together™ partners get a first-hand look at the work Goodwill does, making it possible for them to engage in ways that align with their goals and ours. Ultimately, we are hopeful for long-term partnerships that deliver our mission and makes it easier for local Goodwill organizations to leverage major corporate names to raise awareness of everything that Goodwill is doing in our communities at the local level.

At the local level, Goodwill organizations can leverage the campaign through their own channels and efforts. This can help them strengthen existing relationships with key companies and brands while also presenting an opportunity to bring in more local partners.

How are the Rising TogetherTM coalition partners creating change? 

 Each partner is making a commitment to create change:

  • Accenture will expand its Skills to Succeed services for youth and young adults, which provides skills training and resources to help them navigate their careers. The program also uses immersive virtual reality training to help people impacted by the criminal justice system learn to tell their stories on a personal level to interviewers and other people in their lives.
  • Anthem Foundation will launch a healthcare career path training that will benefit thousands of individuals over the course of two years. The program will build healthcare employee pipelines while supporting healthcare workers affected by the pandemic. The training will ultimately lead to credentials, job placements, wage increases and benefits.
  • Bank of America is supporting Goodwill career coaching, digital skills navigation, financial planning, and supportive services to program participants so they can map their career interests to labor market needs in their region and identify local training programs. Additionally, Bank of America’s Pathways Program will also partner with select local Goodwill locations to hire individuals for employment at the company.
  • Comcast Internet Essentials will provide digital skills and workforce development training for thousands of adults with low incomes. In addition, the program will install free WiFi access in Goodwill locations to enable people to get online to search for and apply for jobs as well as take digital skills training and certification programs to prepare for entry- and mid-level occupations.
  • Coursera, through its social impact program, will provide 2,000 scholarships to those hard-hit by the economic turndown, including people who are impacted by the criminal justice system, veterans and youth learners. Scholarship recipients will have free access to 4,000 courses as well as hands-on projects and professional certificates that teach job-relevant skills across business, technology and data science.
  • Google will continue to support Goodwill in its efforts to deliver digital skills training across the United States through programs such as Google Career Certificates, which help job seekers prepare for in-demand jobs in less than six months without the need for a college degree or prior experience. Since 2017, more than 100 local Goodwill organizations have implemented the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator® in their communities, equipping more than one million people with digital skills and placing more than 170,000 of those individuals into employment.
  • Indeed will help job seekers who are often overlooked or face challenges to finding work with skills-based assessments, job seeker support and employer hiring events. Indeed will work with Goodwill on a fellowship for women who have had to leave the workforce or were reduced to part-time work due to COVID-19 (either voluntarily or involuntarily). Goodwill’s collaboration with Indeed will also include the launch of the Indeed + Goodwill Digital Resource Guide, which will equip Goodwill organizations with best practices and recommendations on how to help people find jobs at Goodwill organizations and other employers.
  • Lowe’s will implement skilled trades career programs at Goodwill nonprofit organizations located in Atlanta, GA, Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Houston, TX; and Nashville, TN. Lowe’s will work with the Goodwill organizations to develop training programs to meet their community employment needs. This one-year training initiative has the goal of skilling and supporting workers in the construction, logistics and transportation fields. The program will train more than 200 skilled trades workers by the end of the year. In addition, Goodwill will support the work of the Lowe’s-led Generation T movement to raise awareness and interest in the skilled trades among youth and adults.
  • Lyft will continue investing in its LyftUp Jobs Access program, which launched in 2019 with a coalition of partners including Goodwill, to provide individuals access to the transportation they need to get to interviews, job training and/or the first weeks of work. To date, the program has supported job seekers with access to tens of thousands of rides.
  • USAA has provided philanthropic support to Goodwill to place 70 Black and Hispanic veterans and military spouses in sustainable careers by September 30, 2022. The grant awarded to Goodwill will also help youth and young adults enrolled in Goodwill’s Operation: Achieve program to attend post-secondary STEM training to obtain professional credentials.

Who can I get in touch with to learn more about Rising Together?

To learn more about how your company or organization can participate in Rising Together™, contact Suzie Naylor, brand marketing manager at Goodwill Industries International.

To learn more about how your company or organization can participate in Rising Together™ here in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, contact Shannon Harper, Senior PR/Marketing Manager, at shannonh@goodwillni.org.

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[1]According to BLS data, women’s civilian labor force between Nov 2019 (77.347 million) and January 2021 (75.012 million) dropped by 2.3 million. This represented a negative three percent drop in the women’s civilian labor force in that time frame. To see the spreadsheet calculation of this figure, contact GII.