Goodwill® Proposal Named Among Top Problem-Solving Solutions By MacArthur Foundation

Adult Education Program Makes Top 200 of 100&Change Competition
ROCKVILLE, MD — A plan by Goodwill Industries International and Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana to combat poverty through adult education was named among the top solutions to problems around the globe by the prestigious MacArthur Foundation.
The Excel Center, first implemented by Goodwill in Indianapolis in 2011, is a unique, tuition-free public high school serving adults who previously dropped out of school and are seeking to restart their education.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation ranked The Excel Center plan among the Top 200 proposals received worldwide as part of its 100&Change competition. The competition is aimed at identifying efforts to solve significant problems. Any organization or legal entity, other than a government agency, was eligible to apply for the competition’s top prize, a $100 million grant given to the top finalist.
“It is wonderful to see so many creative, thoughtful, and potentially impactful ideas submitted to 100&Change,” said Cecilia Conrad, 100&Change team member, MacArthur Foundation. “We hope this interest and participation…inspires the broader public to believe that solutions are possible — even to some of society’s most pressing problems.”
Goodwill’s Excel Center proposal was selected from among 801 total submissions to the MacArthur Foundation. It was among eight programs recognized in the competition’s economic opportunity category.
“With The Excel Center, Goodwill is hoping to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty throughout the United States,” said Kent Kramer, president and CEO of Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana. “We believe we can achieve this lofty goal by accelerating efforts aimed at education, especially among adults who are facing challenges to finding employment.”
The Excel Center provides adults with the opportunity and support to earn their high school diplomas as well as other recognized certifications, and begin post-secondary education while developing career paths that offer greater opportunities. The Excel Center responds to the fact that life commitments and circumstances can prevent people from continuing their high school education. As such, The Excel Center offers transportation assistance, child care and flexible class schedules. Currently, there are Excel Centers located in Arkansas, Indiana (12 locations), Maryland, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington, D.C., with plans for expansion in other states. Around the United States, 30 million adults lack a high school diploma and more than 3 million people drop out of school each year.
All of the projects in the MacArthur Foundation’s Top 200 are available for viewing by visiting the 100&Change results page.
About Goodwill Industries International:
Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a network of 162 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 13 other countries. GII is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is recognized by GuideStar with its Platinum Seal of Approval, the organization’s highest rating for charities. GII was also ranked by Enso as the #1 brand doing the most good in the world, and was the only nonprofit brand rated in Forbes’ 20 most inspiring companies for three consecutive years. Local Goodwill organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that create job training programs, employment placement and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,200 stores collectively and online at®. Local Goodwill organizations also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food services preparation, and document imaging and shredding.
Last year, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed more than 313,000 people in employment in the United States and Canada. In addition, more than 34 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills, and more than 2 million people received in person services. To learn more, visit
For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl or Instagram: GoodwillIntl.
About the MacArthur Foundation:
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including over-incarcerationglobal climate changenuclear risk, and significantly increasing financial capital for the social sector. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy, as well as the strength and vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago.
MacArthur is one of the nation’s largest independent foundations. Organizations supported by the Foundation work in about 50 countries. In addition to Chicago, MacArthur has offices in IndiaMexico, and Nigeria.
Lauren Lawson-Zilai
Senior Director, Public Relations
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5266
[email protected]