Observed the first Monday in September, Labor Day is an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers.

According to The Department of Labor, the holiday is rooted in the late nineteenth century, when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America’s strength, prosperity, and well-being.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September of each year a national holiday (https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history).

Being an organization whose mission is focused on workforce development, Labor Day is quite meaningful at Goodwill.

We would like to take the opportunity this Labor Day to recognize our own 1100+ team members who work diligently day in and day out to help Goodwill transform lives and communities through the power of education and employment.

Goodwill is placing a growing emphasis on supporting those in need of career development within our own organization by investing in the expansion of our TRAc* (The RISE** Academy) professional development program and our RISE** career and life coaching services.  Both programs will enable those faced with barriers to sustainable employment and those who have had few opportunities for career advancement to develop a broader, achievable path to professional success both within and outside of Goodwill. Their success is our motivation.

While we are driven by a desire to serve those within our organization, we continue to focus on the professional advancement of those outside of Goodwill through the recent expansion of The Goodwill Excel Center (Excel Center)- DC's only adult charter high school that awards a high school diploma rather than a GED.  Individuals with a high school diploma earn, on average, $10,000 more per year than those without one.  A high school graduate is also 75% more likely to find employment than someone without a diploma.  The opportunities for advancement at work and in life have improved dramatically for the 576 graduates of the Excel Center since it opened its doors in 2016.  Their achievement is a direct result of the dedicated faculty and staff at The Excel Center, who are committed to the success of the students they serve.

We are extremely proud of every Goodwill team member and the positive impact they make on our community - whether as an employee or a volunteer.  This Labor Day, we publicly salute and appreciate you!

*TRAc = The RISE Academy

**RISE = Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence - Goodwill of Greater Washington's core values.