Amid Historic Unemployment, Charlotte-area Goodwill Receives Historic Gift from Billionaire Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

$10M investment will significantly increase opportunities for local job seekers

Goodwill® Industries of the Southern Piedmont has received a historic donation of $10 million from billionaire philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott – the largest investment in the nonprofit’s 55-year history. This comes at a time when our community is experiencing historic levels of unemployment and underemployment during this pandemic. This transformative gift will help Goodwill accelerate its efforts to provide people with the support needed to get back to work today, and be prepared for the workplace of tomorrow.

In her announcement, Scott explained the rigorous selection process that evaluated 6,490 organizations based on community needs, program outcomes, and each nonprofit’s ability to make effective use of funding. Her team worked to identify organizations supporting communities with high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, and high local poverty rates. “We do this research and deeper diligence not only to identify organizations with high potential for impact, but also to pave the way for unsolicited and unexpected gifts given with full trust and no strings attached,” Scott said in the post. 

“I cannot express the depth of our gratitude for this historic and extraordinary gift. As the Charlotte region’s largest workforce development nonprofit, Goodwill is uniquely positioned to lead the way in ensuring everyone in our community has the opportunity to achieve prosperity – no matter their circumstances,” said Chris Jackson, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. “We have ambitious goals set in our 2025 strategic plan that we are excited to be able to expedite thanks to this generous investment. This will propel us forward in our unwavering dedication to closing the skills gap and eliminating the challenges created by inequities. MacKenzie Scott’s support is a demonstration of confidence in this essential work.” 

When she announced this gift, Scott described the pandemic as “a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling.” But, this pandemic has also proven that unemployment can make anyone’s future uncertain. Today, Goodwill is supporting individuals laid off from decades-long careers looking to reimagine their futures, people experiencing unemployment from businesses forced to shut their doors who are seeking more stable careers, workers struggling with underemployment as their hours continue to be cut back; parents having to leave their jobs to ensure their children don’t fall behind, and the list the goes on

Goodwill not only equips thousands of individuals in our region with industry-recognized skills in high-growth industries such as IT, construction and customer service, but also provides comprehensive services to support job seekers and their families in all areas of life as they work to identify and achieve their personal and professional goals. 

Virtual training programs, career coaching and employment support through Goodwill are available to anyone who needs them – free of charge. 

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