Public Policy

Accomplishing Goodwill Industries of Northern New England’s mission of enabling all people to achieve personal stability and community engagement requires engagement with public policy on local, state, and federal levels.

Goodwill NNE works collaboratively with decision-makers to offer a clear voice on behalf of those we serve.

The Goodwill NNE Public Policy Team and Committee play an important role in communicating with policy leaders but to achieve true community engagement, we need to hear from you.  We want to hear your ideas, your stories, and your concerns.

We also hope you will take the time to reach out to your representatives (click on the state and federal links below to find out how!) and share your thoughts with them.

When we work together, our voice becomes stronger.

Public Policy Committee

The Public Policy Committee engages policy leaders in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont by providing objective information on relevant issues and educating them on Goodwill NNE’s mission.  The Committee also ensures that policy issues and concerns are regularly brought to the attention of Goodwill NNE’s organizational leadership.   The members of the Committee represent a diverse background in local and state policy from all 3 states. Members of the Public Policy Committee are:

Kate Brayton (Chair), Vermont
Chris Goucher, Maine
Katie Fullam Harris, Maine
Edgar J. Helms, Jr. New Hampshire
Steven Hurd, Maine
Charlie Kennedy, Maine
James MacKay, New Hampshire
Peter Mills, Maine

Local Public Policy

Part of Goodwill NNE’s mission is that every person should have the opportunity to be fully engaged in their community.  To achieve this, Goodwill NNE is committed to creating safe, vibrant, and welcoming communities in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

We works with local agencies and organizations to offer holistic supports for our clients.  A strong coalition of social services can more effectively and efficiently support thriving communities and personal and family stability for those living in our communities.

State Public Policy

Goodwill NNE works in partnership with the state to provide many social services.  We work collaboratively with state government officials to develop efficient and effective programs.  We also offer our perspective on issues by testifying at public hearings and submitting letters on issues of importance to Goodwill NNE and our clients. Whenever we can, Goodwill NNE works with other agencies to advocate for a policy.

We hope you will get involved with state issues as well.  Your state representatives may be your neighbor or someone you pass at the grocery store, but they are also your voice at the state capitol.  Take a moment to share your thoughts about an issue you care about with your state legislators.  If you don’t know who they are, you can easily find out:

Below are links to testimony and letters Goodwill NNE has submitted to the Maine State Legislature.


In partnership with The Opportunity Alliance and Preble Street, Goodwill sent a letter of support to the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services regarding LD276: To Improve Access to Oral Health Care for MaineCare Recipients


As a member of Goodwill Industries International, Goodwill NNE is mindful of their advocacy efforts.  As an autonomous organization, we monitor and advocate national policies that best meet the needs of the communities we serve in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

A variety of federal policies have an impact the work of Goodwill NNE.  Our workforce development programs are supported through the federal Workforce Investment Act.  The human services we provide are directly impacted by any changes in federal health care laws.  Environmental, tax, and community development policy are just a few other issues that impact Goodwill NNE’s day to day operations.  We ensure our federal delegation is aware of and well-informed on issues of importance.  We also engage them in local initiatives whenever possible.

As a nationally recognized organization, Goodwill NNE understands we also have a responsibility to advocate for individuals who face barriers to opportunity.  We take great pride in our founder’s motto, “Not charity, but a chance” and incorporate that into each policy for which we advocate or develop.

Recently, we have worked closely with our federal delegation on:

  • Elimination of the sub-minimum wage for individuals with disabilities

Since 1996, it has been Goodwill NNE’s policy and practice to always meet or exceed the minimum wage for all our employees (click here to read our board resolution).  We support repealing Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act which allows employers to pay individuals with disabilities less than the minimum wage (click here to read policy brief).

We support and strive for integrated, community employment for all people by supporting national initiatives such as Employment First.  We believe it is the best policy for individuals as well as businesses(click here to learn more).

If you would like to share your thoughts about these or other issues with your federal delegation, find out how to contact them here:


Goodwill Clients & Families

We want to hear from you. Whether it’s through our lunch and learn education series, public policy task force efforts or parent support groups, we want to learn more about what we can do to remove barriers to independence.

Please contact us to share your thoughts and concerns.


Updated 2 months ago by Ken Christian

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