It’s graduation season, a rite of passage for students around the country. In my own family, my five year old niece graduated from pre-school, my eighteen year old cousin graduated from high school, and my thirty nine year old brother graduated from his plumbing apprenticeship program. Within the Goodwill® network, hundreds of graduates are exiting the Excel Center, an alternative adult high school started by Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana, Inc. in Indianapolis, Indiana and now replicated in around the country. Many of the Excel Centers are graduating their largest classes yet. Watch the highlights of the 180 graduates of the Excel Center run by Goodwill of Central Texas (Austin) including ten from the extension campus at the Lockhart Women’s Correctional Facility. An Excel Center run by Goodwill of Greater Washington just a few short blocks from the White House is gearing up for their graduation at the end of the month, which includes a grandmother and her grandson among the 82 graduates.
Local Goodwill® organizations understand that students don’t always follow one particular route for educational attainment. This is why the Excel Center model takes a holistic approach in removing barriers which may have prevented people from completing their high school education earlier. For example, the Excel Center provides flexible scheduling, free childcare, and transportation assistance.
Lawmakers in Congress also recognize that students take different pathways from education to careers. The House passed their version of the Career and Technical Education Act last year, and just this week a Senate education committee passed their version with bipartisan support. A White House official said the Senate legislation “better aligns career and technical education programs with the needs of the business community and careers of today and tomorrow.” Next stop is the Senate floor and if passed, the House and Senate bills will be conferenced to work out their differences.
Goodwill Industries International (GII) stands ready to work with lawmakers as nonprofits play an important role educating adults and ensuring that they have the skills needed to enter the workforce of the future while meeting the needs of employers today. Be sure to sign up for updates from GII’s government relations team via the Legislative Action Center to stay informed as the CTE bill advances.