Goodwill Houston Awarded Department of Labor Grant for Life Launch: GO Program

Apr 27, 2023 | News Press


Goodwill Houston has been selected as one of five Goodwill organizations across the nation to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. This grant will fund Goodwill Houston’s Life Launch: Growth Opportunities (GO) program.

Since 2017, Goodwill Houston has been helping young adults overcome barriers to employment through the Life Launch program. This program was designed to prepare justice-involved young adults, ages 18­–24, for success in the workplace. The grant allows Goodwill Houston to partner with state and local justice systems and employers to identify youth to receive paid job training. Since the program began, a total of 272 young adults, who were either justice-involved or at-risk for becoming justice involved, have been enrolled.

Life Launch program participants are supported with case management, career planning, paid job experience, employment, education, and training. Program participants also benefit from other critically needed supportive services like violence prevention, conflict resolution and leadership development training, mentorships, education, occupational skills development, and even criminal record expungement.

“A criminal record can be devastating to a young adult trying to navigate through life. Goodwill Houston helps to open doors to new opportunities that would not otherwise exist,” said Alma Ybarra, Chief People Officer at Goodwill Houston. “We are honored to be selected for this grant to continue offering career pathways and expungement services.”

Goodwill organizations are selected based on several factors. Those include community need, existing partnerships with community colleges, local criminal justice systems and employers, and the various Goodwill organizations’ experience in re-entry and young adult services.

“The Life Launch program has been a win for both young adults and employers in our area,” said Denetria Hulin, Senior Manager of Training at Goodwill Houston. “It has boosted the local economy by training and hiring people for in-demand jobs.”

In addition to Goodwill Houston, four other Goodwill organizations received federal funding for their Life Launch: Go programs. Those are the Goodwill organizations serving Greenville/Spartanburg, SC; Santa Ana, CA; Shreveport, LA; and Tacoma, WA.

To learn more about the Life Launch: GO program or Goodwill Houston, visit or call 713-692-6221.

Goodwill Houston improves the lives of individuals, families, and communities by providing free education, training, and employment opportunities to all, while specializing in assisting people with disabilities at-risk youth, senior citizens, veterans, those recovering from addiction and those with other barriers to employment. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit proudly serving the citizens of eight Texas counties—Austin, Brazoria, Ft. Bend, Galveston, Harris, Montgomery, Walker, and Washington. Goodwill Houston strives to be the premiere resource for workforce development in greater Houston. Our operation is simple. People donate gently used clothing and household items to us, and we sell those items in our stores to fund job training programs and employment opportunities for all. Visit for more information.

The Life Launch: GO program is made possible with a $4 million grant award, covering 86% of operating costs, from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. Goodwill is contributing leveraged funding valued at $667,414 to cover the remaining 14% of operational costs.

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