Southeastern Wisconsin’s Goodwill awarded $15 million gift from MacKenzie Scott

Mona Martinez puts price tags on softline items.
Mona Martinez puts price tags on softline items. Credit: Jake Hill

Last updated on December 18th, 2020 at 11:27 am

Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Chicago has been awarded a $15 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

The Greendale-based organization is one of 46 local Goodwill organizations, and 384 charities nationally, to recently receive a donation from Scott.

Scott, who is the former wife of chief executive officer Jeff Bezos, announced on Wednesday that she has given $4.2 billion to charity in the past four months.

In addition to Goodwill, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County is among Scott’s local beneficiaries. The organization has not yet disclosed its donation amount.

Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Chicago, the largest of more than 156 Goodwill organizations worldwide, said it will use the funds to help connect unemployed individuals to jobs and find sustainable career paths.

The gift in particular will be directed to help people of color, low-wage workers, workers with low educational attainment, people with disabilities, and people impacted by the criminal justice system, the organization said.

“We are uniquely positioned to lead the way in ensuring that every individual, regardless of challenges and backgrounds, has access to the skills and services they need to face today’s economic situation,” said Jackie Hallberg, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Chicago. “We are humbled, grateful and overwhelmed by MacKenzie Scott’s transformative contribution, which will address the growing need for skills training for job seekers and help them move onto career paths, while building access to opportunity and equitable hiring nationwide as millions of community members continue to face historic hardships during this pandemic.”

In addition to the investment in local Goodwill organizations, Scott announced a $20 million gift to Goodwill Industries International, which will be used to address growing workforce needs as demands for targeted skills in the labor market increase.

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