As an advocate for Goodwill Industries®, I spend the better part of my day educating people about the mission of Goodwill® and the programs and services that are provided by local Goodwill organizations. Almost every time, people say, “I had no idea!”. If you’re one of our public supporters, you likely already know about Goodwill’s mission to provide job training and employment opportunities. But did you know that several local Goodwill organizations run a unique high school — The Excel Center — for adults who are working to earn their high school diplomas? Let me guess, you had no idea, right?
The goal of The Excel Center is to provide adults the opportunity and support they need to earn their high school diplomas and begin post-secondary education while developing career paths in sectors of the local economy that offer the greatest employment and career growth opportunities. First started in Indianapolis, there are now Excel Centers located in Austin, TX; Memphis, TN; and Washington, DC. And, in a moving new documentary, “Night School“, you can follow the experiences of Greg, Melissa and Shynika, three adult learners attending The Excel Center in Indianapolis, IN, operated by Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana. Their stories will move you and you’ll understand the need for these types of schools for Americans looking to advance their educations and begin their careers.
The House of Representatives recently passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the 21st Century Act, which reauthorizes and modifies federal programs to support CTE for secondary and postsecondary students. The bill is now being reviewed by the senate. If passed, the bill will fund grants to states and other recipients to support the development of CTE programs that lead to industry-recognized credentials.
Goodwill Industries International supports the passage of this important piece of legislation and looks forward to working with the senate to strengthen opportunities for local Goodwill organizations, and expansion of the Excel Center and other programs for adult learners like Greg, Melissa, and Shynika within the bill.