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Goodwill Partners With City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County for Pilot Welfare to Work Computer Recycling Program

Used Computer Collection Drive Sat., Aug. 26 at Heinz Field Scheduled, Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Charlie Batch Supports Ef

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh today announced an innovative welfare to work pilot program involving a joint venture with the City of Pittsburgh's Pittsburgh Partnership and the Allegheny County Department of Human Services.

The program's goal is to provide work to individuals moving off of the welfare roles. Also, the program will contribute toward developing solutions to growing environmental issues related to electronic waste.

The joint venture will take advantage of Goodwill's recently announced Reconnect Pittsburgh program that involves the agency's reuse and responsible recycling of donated computers, supported in part by of one of the world's largest computer manufacturers, Dell Inc.

"Such a collaborative effort makes sense. By pooling our resources, identifying common needs, and coming together with expertise and social entrepreneurial spirit, the City, County and Goodwill were able to address two major community needs -- workforce development and electronic waste management," said Michael J. Smith, Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh's president and CEO. "We look forward to leveraging our 10 years of computer recycling industry knowledge and tapping into our 100 years of workforce development experience to help hundreds of people learn about the power of work."

A key for project success is for every person in southwestern Pennsylvania to donate unused computer equipment at a special drive-through donation collection event -- called the Goodwill Super Computer Donation Bowl -- being held Saturday, August 26, 2006 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. beside Heinz Field on West General Robinson Street, alongside Alco Parking Lot Number Two. Every donated computer collected at this event, and at Goodwill locations in the future, will support this and other such workforce development projects.

"We will provide relevant work experience for up to 100 individuals per day who are transitioning from welfare to work. This opportunity will allow people to develop the necessary skills for future employment in high growth occupations," said Judy Hill Finegan, Manager, Pittsburgh Partnership. "We wanted to pilot a creative solution to overcome key environmental issues regarding electronic waste while assisting individuals with meeting the requirements under the newly defined federal regulations for welfare reform."

"Allegheny County is a proud partner in this initiative," said Reginald Young, Deputy Director, Allegheny County Department of Human Services. "We see the benefits not only to increasing the employability of our population of working poor parents, but also to boosting the economy of the region -- it's a win-win proposition."

Other important notes about computer donations to Goodwill include the following:

* no televisions will be accepted; * the program is absolutely free; * any brand of computer is eligible for donation; * donors are responsible for removing data from their hard drive; and * donations may be tax deductible -- donors are encouraged to contact their tax advisor for more information about eligibility and how to valuate the donation.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch is scheduled to be on hand to greet donors from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Also, the public is encouraged to watch other yet-to-be-announced special visitors to the Goodwill Super Computer Donation Bowl event. Lastly, donors at this event may participate in a free drawing for raffle prizes such as a flat screen television.

"This is a one-of-a-kind innovative model created right here in southwestern Pennsylvania," said Glenn Callihan, vice president of operations for Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh, who oversees the agency's computer recycling efforts. "Since every major city has the need to put people to work in meaningful jobs, and every city is challenged by the need to ensure that their electronic waste is managed properly, we have high hopes that this project will be replicated nationwide. We consider this to be the next step in our collective workforce and electronic evolution."

About Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh

Under a franchise-like agreement with Goodwill Industries International (GII), Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh serves southwestern Pennsylvania and north central West Virginia with an operating budget of $35+ million. It is the region's largest workforce development agency, offering over 20 different rehabilitative programs and serving over 75,000 people in 2005. Goodwill Pittsburgh leads GII's other 207 autonomous Goodwills within the United States, Canada and 22 other countries. For more information, go to http://www.goodwillpitt.org/.

About City of Pittsburgh's Pittsburgh Partnership

The Pittsburgh Partnership is a division of the City of Pittsburgh's Department of Personnel and Civil Service Commission. The Pittsburgh Partnership offers a variety of educational, training, and employment services designed to assist individuals find meaningful jobs and employers find qualified workers. The Pittsburgh Partnership receives funding for and operates several different Welfare Programs though the Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare.

About Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Allegheny County's Department of Human Services strives to create an accessible, culturally competent, integrated, and comprehensive human services system that ensures individually tailored, seamless, and holistic services to Allegheny County residents -- especially vulnerable populations. For more information about HumanServices.net or its partnering agencies, go to http://www.county.allegheny.pa.us/dhs/hsnet.html.

Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh

CONTACT: Sheila Holt, Director of Public Relations and Marketing of
Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh, +1-412-390-2260, or cell, +1-412-965-1670,
or [email protected]

Web site: http://www.goodwillpitt.org/

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