Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana (New Orleans) has received approval from Louisiana Board of Regents to establish the Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana School, which specializes in helping vulnerable populations receive industry certifications and skills in high-demand local industries.
Opening this May, Goodwill Industries of SELA School will offer affordable career training and industry based certifications in broadband technology (CTECH), START (hospitality and tourism), Microsoft Office technology and digital literacy.
“We believe that education is a pathway out of poverty, and many in our community are missing the opportunity to obtain employable skills that will help them become economically independent,” said Bill Jessee, president of Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana.
“The [school] addresses a community need for a comprehensive hands-on curriculum for individuals who otherwise may not successfully earn a technical education.”
In addition to the coursework, Goodwill® will offer life and job readiness skills, such as résumé writing, mock interviews and work etiquette.
“At Goodwill, we are in a unique position because we also offer human services to individuals with employment disadvantages and disabilities,” said Kim Rugon, Ph.D., vice president of workforce development and mission services for Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana. “Many students are faced with homelessness, former incarceration and other social ills that affect their success and employment. We will provide wrap-around services to help address these barriers.”
Curriculum costs vary per course. Students may currently qualify for financial aid through their local Workforce Investment Board’s Investment Training Account (ITA). After one full year of operation, Goodwill Industries of SELA School will seek accreditation through the Council on Occupational Education to offer Title IV funds.
The New Orleans Goodwill expects to serve 150 in its first year and plans to add two new programs annually through the school. “We anticipate developing a business advisory council to identify needs in our community so that we are delivering a trained and ready workforce. It’s a win-win for everybody,” said Jessee.