FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Goodwill® Awarded Microsoft Software Grant Valued at $4.2 Million
Contribution to support economic mobility in the Southern Piedmont region
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (September 10, 2016) – Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont announced today that the organization is receiving $4.2 million in software from Microsoft Corp. The announcement was made this evening at the nonprofit’s “Opportunity Gala” event, hosted at the Leon Levine Opportunity Center on the new Goodwill Opportunity Campus in west Charlotte, to celebrate the new facility. Prominent local philanthropists Leon and Sandra Levine were in attendance at the special event.
The software grant from Microsoft will outfit more than 60 meeting spaces, classrooms and workspaces at Goodwill with up-to-date software – including Microsoft Office, Windows 10 and SharePoint – allowing Goodwill to utilize the latest tools in the community’s efforts to bridge the digital divide in the Charlotte region. Software awarded through the grant will power nearly 800 computers and laptops dedicated for use by Goodwill clients, as well as for the team members who support them on their journey to family sustaining employment. Computers and laptop carts allow for convenient, free computer access for job seekers to complete assignments in multi-week training courses, update resumes and apply for jobs online. More than 850 job seekers in the region check in for job training programs and employment services each week at the three Goodwill job resource centers in Charlotte, Gastonia and Rock Hill.
The grant from Microsoft will also provide software for digital signage to communicate information and schedules to clients and team members about the wraparound services offered at Goodwill, as well as laptops and desktops, large format displays in meeting spaces and for servers to support the information technology infrastructure at Goodwill. The grant supports Goodwill’s Microsoft Office Specialist two-week training course certification, valued at $1,100 and provided free of charge for Goodwill clients who meet certain requirements, in order to learn and expand computer skills for the competitive job market.
“We are incredibly grateful to Microsoft for supporting Goodwill’s mission through innovative technology solutions,” said Dr. Dana McDonald, Director of Goodwill University at Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. “This software will allow Goodwill to remain current in the ever-changing technology landscape, offering computer and Internet access for our clients including youth, veterans and individuals facing barriers to employment who may lack this modern-day convenience at home.”
The grant increases Microsoft’s total commitment to Goodwill valued at $12.8 million over the course of a more than 10-year partnership.
“Goodwill plays an important role in providing every individual the opportunity to work and support themselves and their families, and Microsoft is happy to provide our technology to help with the organization’s mission,” said Reggie Isaac, Director of Microsoft Charlotte Campus. “We’re investing Microsoft’s strongest assets to drive greater inclusion and empowerment of people who may not have access to technology and the opportunities it offers and enables.”
In addition to Goodwill’s service offerings, the Goodwill Opportunity Campus brings together community partner agencies with a full-time on-site presence to provide wraparound services for clients under one roof, including Charlotte Metro Credit Union, Charlotte Community Health Clinic – West, Common Wealth Charlotte and The Center for Community Transitions. By addressing client barriers in healthcare, banking, financial literacy and transitional support services for individuals with criminal backgrounds, Goodwill and its on-site partner agencies work together to help clients achieve stability and eventually gain a level of self-sufficiency to achieve family sustaining employment.
Proceeds from the sale of donations in Goodwill retail stores fund the nonprofit’s mission of providing job training and employment services free of charge to individuals with barriers to employment such as lack of skills, experience or education and criminal backgrounds. In 2015, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont provided employment services to 12,000 individuals and placed 1,500 job seekers in local jobs throughout the region. For more information about Goodwill and its programs, visit www.goodwillsp.org.
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About Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont
Goodwill has been serving individuals and families in the Southern Piedmont region of North and South Carolina for more than 50 years. Goodwill operates 24 retail stores and has more than 30 donation sites in the region. Proceeds from the sale of donated goods fund job training and employment services for individuals facing barriers to employment such as lack of skills, experience or education and criminal backgrounds. In 2015, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont provided employment services to 12,000 individuals and placed 1,500 job seekers in local jobs throughout the region thanks to donations and purchases from the community. For more information, visit www.goodwillsp.org.
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