Letters to the Editor: Goodwill facts, small business legislation and congressional diversity

Letters to the Editor: Goodwill facts, small business legislation and congressional diversity
December 15
09:00 2016

Here are facts about Goodwill to make sure rumors don’t stick

To the Editor:

It is again the holiday season, the giving season – and the season for rumors. The one about Santa Claus is true, but many others are not.

For some reason, Goodwill –along with many other worthy charities – gets targeted with erroneous information this time of the year.

So here are some facts about your Goodwill that you should know:

*We are a nonprofit organization and have been since 1926.

*No one owns Goodwill. Goodwill is made up of a network of 164 independent, local Goodwills in the United States and Canada. Each independent organization is run by a local voluntary board of directors who are your neighbors and under-stand the community’s needs.

*The income derived from your donations goes to pay for services here in your community; more than 33,000 people were served in northwest North Carolina this last year alone.

*Our mission has always been to help people overcome barriers to employment; 1,100 people work for us and tens of thousands more get free services such as skills training, job readiness, job coaching and employment services.

*We try to find a home for every item donated. Forty million pounds of donations are received and sold each year, diverting these unwanted goods from our landfills. Ninety-nine percent of the donations received is responsibly recycled – the only exceptions are those items that pose safety hazards to our employees or our customers.

*Your local Goodwill provides free services to at-risk youth, veterans and their families, persons with disabilities, former offenders seeking employment and countless others who need our help.

*All our employees make well above minimum wage and receive comprehensive benefits including health insurance and a pension plan (Remember pension plans? We still have one.).

*We partner with 11 community colleges to provide nearly 300 skills training classes in healthcare, skilled trades, truck driving, office technology, hospitality, customer service, culinary arts, housekeeping and more.  We then help those students find jobs in their chosen fields.

*For every dollar spent in your local Goodwill stores, 90 cents goes to support our mission and sustainability.  That means that only 10 cents goes to administrative costs.

Please be assured that your local Goodwill organization and Santa Claus are doing well despite the rumors. Learn more or contact us at

Art Gibel

President & CEO Goodwill Industries

of Northwest North Carolina Inc.


Small business legislation to ensure fair access to contracts

To the Editor:

I am proud to announce the passage [on Dec. 9] of the Small and Disadvantaged Businesses Act of 2016, which will be my second bill signed into law.

Small businesses are the driver of our state economy. There are over 800,000 small businesses in North Carolina that employ nearly fifty percent of our workforce. As Ranking Member of the Small Business Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, I introduced this legislation to ensure small businesses have fair access to federal contracts.

This legislation will ease the burdens facing small and disadvantaged businesses by helping them do business more effectively and to ultimately hire more people.

U.S. Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12) 

Washington, D.C

Note: Adams released the above statement following the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by the U.S. Senate. The NDAA included the Small and Disadvantaged Businesses Act of 2016, introduced by Adams. The NDAA will soon be signed into law by President Obama.

The passage of the Small and Disadvantaged Businesses Act of 2016 allows the Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) to review agency purchas-es made using government credit cards to ensure compliance with the Small Business Act.

Congress needs more diversity in senior staff roles 

To the Editor:

Recent news reports highlighting a study conducted by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies on the lack of diversity in senior U.S. Senate staff positions reflect a long-standing injustice that keeps the workforce of the United States Congress lacking the diversity of our country.

The near complete absence of African American senior staff in personal and committee offices in the Senate is not reflective of the inclusiveness ideals of our government, and of our country. The CBC has long championed African American inclusion in all industries, and launched CBC TECH 2020 last year to promote diversity in the technology industry. But the fact that the United States Congress, an institution that was created to represent all people, still has not taken meaningful steps to increase diversity is disappointing and requires an immediate remedy.

There are talented African-Americans ready, willing, and able to take leadership roles in the United States Senate and in the House. There are plenty of offices hiring, on both sides of the aisle, and in both chambers, where Senators and Representatives can hire talented African-American candidates. Yet, from our records, with the start of the next Congress, the Senate is poised to have one African-American Senate chief of staff and no African-American staff directors if immediate action is not taken. We have made progress in the diversity of the officials we elect to Congress, but the lack of senior African- American staff within these offices is alarming. The CBC does not accept the excuses of tech companies for their lack of diversity, nor shall we accept excuses from others on an issue so critical.

The United States Congress must lead by example. We call on our colleagues to increase the diversity on their staffs and stand ready to help them source skilled and qualified candidates for these senior roles.

U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield NC-1)


Congressional Black Caucus Washington, D.C. 

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