SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – In an effort to help lift working people with low to moderate incomes, Goodwill Industries International (GII) is partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s (USCCF) Center for Education and Workforce to increase employee access to the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Through GII, Goodwill Manasota applied – and was one of just five Goodwill organizations in the country to be selected – for a pilot program to explore how employers can help workers apply for and use EITC in conjunction with employer benefits and other government safety net benefits.
The EITC is designed to reward work. In 2018 it was credited with lifting 5.6 million people out of poverty, including 3 million children, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The credit reduced the severity of poverty for another 16.5 million working adults and their children.
With support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the USCCF is exploring how to leverage employer HR benefits and technology tools along with nonprofit partnerships to improve the financial stability and economic advancement of low and moderate-income workers and their families. Starting with federal and state EITCs, this project is exploring how activating employer partnerships and leveraging human resource benefits and tools can help workers apply for and use EITC in conjunction with employer benefits and other government safety net benefits.
The pilot program seeks to: increase the percent of EITC-eligible workers who file taxes and claim EITC benefits; reduce the time and cost of filing taxes and claiming EITC benefits; reduce the error rate in claiming EITC benefits; and increase the percent who use their EITC benefits to improve their financial wellness including reducing debt and increasing savings.
“We were proud to have been selected to participate in the pilot program, especially since it will help us to enhance the resources available to our employees, such as career and life coaching, financial literacy, job skills training, and free tax preparation,” said Margie Genter, vice president of mission services, who will spearhead the program for Goodwill Manasota. “Our mission is to change lives through the power of work; through our comprehensive suite of workforce supports, we are able to positively impact the careers, earnings and lives of our team members and their families.”
Goodwill Manasota leaders estimate that at least 350 of its employees are EITC-eligible. For more about Goodwill, go to experiencegoodwill.org.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.
About the U.S. Chamber Foundation
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.