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Goodwill expands career advancement program

Goodwill Industries International is expanding a pilot program designed to advance the careers of women across the United States.

Through a $7.7 million grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation, the Beyond Jobs program will now create a larger impact by reaching more women who are unemployed or underemployed. The funding will help broaden the reach of a program that was started in 2010 in five U.S. markets serving 1,342 women, to serving an expected 12,250 women in 49 communities.

The program's growth comes at a critical time as U.S. Department of Labor statistics show that only 26 percent of the women who lost their jobs during the recession have regained them. In addition, last year, more than one out of four women was still looking for work after more than a year of job hunting.

"Beyond Jobs is designed not just to place women in jobs, but to provide them with the opportunity to earn credentials, enhance their careers in the emerging competitive labor market and support themselves and their families in the long-term," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "By assisting women in need, Goodwill further fulfills its mission of serving a diverse group of people with low incomes and financial challenges."

Beyond Jobs leverages Goodwill's holistic approach to job training, placement and family financial support services. Over a 30-month grant period, Goodwill will work with women who earn low incomes to provide them with the tools to achieve their educational, career and financial goals.

Each woman in the program will receive a complete career assessment, including job training, placement services and additional support to help them achieve economic security and advance in their careers. Once participants are placed in jobs, they receive support to help retain them, to further their education, and to advance in careers within their chosen industries.

"Wal-Mart has made a long-term commitment to support initiatives aimed at empowering women around the globe," said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. "By working every day with dedicated partners like Goodwill, we can dramatically improve the lives of women and their families here at home."

The Beyond Jobs program is a key element in Wal-Mart achieving the goals of its Global Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative, one of which is to help 200,000 U.S. women from low-income households with workforce readiness through job training, education, career counseling, and mentoring.

For more information, visit corporate.walmart.com/women.

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