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Goodwill tackles sequester effects in Oklahoma

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Staff Report

During one of the most difficult periods in the American economy, a local Goodwill is taking action. Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma is getting ahead of the issues that may be created by this year’s sequester. It encourages Oklahomans to do the same, said Marketing Development coordinator Cynthia Martinez.

“Make a plan today,” Sarah Steffes says, Director of Resource Development at Goodwill. “Prepare for these changes before they affect you and your family.”

Goodwill is a recognized provider of employment and support services for people with disabilities and other disadvantages. It is fortunate in that it does not rely on state or federal contracts to fund its services. It will not be directly affected by budget cuts.

Still, when the deadline for the Sequester came and went this spring, Goodwill was forced to act. Many of Goodwill’s employees and program participants receive federal assistance. As Steffes made her way through community contacts, she quickly realized the budget cuts set forth by the sequester would leave many without assistance.

“We expect a greater demand for our services as people adjust to the budget cuts,” Steffes said. “Goodwill already provides support to thousands of Oklahomans, we’re ready.”

Steffes compiled a community resource guide of support services that will continue to be available in the area. Goodwill encourages people to explore a variety of community services, much like its Job Connection Center (JCC).

Goodwill has five JCC locations in central and western Oklahoma – Ada, Enid, Shawnee, Midwest City and Oklahoma City. These centers are fully-equipped employment resource centers. Employment Specialists work with people on a walk-in basis. They help people create successful career development strategies at no charge.

“Sometimes personal and family needs can keep people from finding and keeping employment,” said Nyree Cunningham, Vice President of Program Development for Goodwill. “If we can’t help, we can provide referrals to community support services in the area.”

Goodwill is not the only community agency providing community support services during these difficult times. To join the campaign to help Oklahomans through the Sequester, or to receive a copy of Goodwill’s Community Resource Guide please call 405-236-4451. Learn more about Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma on line at The Oklahoma City location is found at 316 S Blackwelder.

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