10/20/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

On Labor Day, Goodwill Sees Reason for Hope, Time to Build Skills

Happy Labor Day! If you're one of the millions of Americans who are currently unemployed or underemployed, Labor Day may not seem like much of a happy holiday. But there's reason to be hopeful. That's because after months and months of negative economic news there are indications that things might be turning around for the better. And trust me; you'll want to be ready when it happens.

Hopeful Signs

When I say there's reason for hope, I'm referring to, in part, the government's monthly report on the employment situation. This report shows that we're still seeing job losses, but at only half the rate that we had seen in the early months of this year.

I won't kid you; the jobless rate is still high and many people remain out of work. But according to most economists, fewer Americans are now finding themselves among the newly unemployed. This is a clear sign that the economy has already hit bottom and is on the path to recovery.

Given that likelihood, this Labor Day is the time to rededicate yourself to getting a job so that you can be part of any economic expansion. There are many ways to do this, and I'd like to tell you about one of these.

Skill Up

Earlier this summer Goodwill® launched a new online tool for Americans impacted by the economic downturn. The Recovery site - - features important information in the areas of career, family, finance and health for people from all backgrounds and skill sets. If you're like most Americans going through job losses, you're left with the following questions:

•Wondering what job sectors are hiring, and what types of jobs promise career growth.
•How to manage healthcare for your family during these economically challenging times.

The site answers these questions and also provides ways to manage your budget, maintain a frugal lifestyle, and even provides inexpensive ways to travel with your family.

The career resources section of includes tips to improve your job hunting skills including resume writing and networking as well as how to take advantage of potential job opportunities in your community. If that weren't enough, there's also a Job of the Week listing. No matter what your skills, Goodwill has the tools to help; many local Goodwills around the country are placing people in employment opportunities in diverse industries such as technology, healthcare, food services, banking, computer programming and manufacturing.

Here is my point: you can view this Labor Day as a difficult time, or you can seize upon the economic signs of hope, take advantage of an opportunity to build your job skills, and use Labor Day as a way to celebrate a new path in your career. Stay Hopeful. Build your Skills. Goodwill is there for you. And as I said before: Happy Labor Day.