Nonprofit’s high school education program set to begin in St. Louis by October
ST. LOUIS (January 09, 2018) – MERS Goodwill is pleased to announce that the State of Missouri has awarded the organization the contract to establish four adult high schools called Goodwill Excel Centers over the next 21 months. These centers will assist adults over the age of 21 to earn high school degrees and, in some cases, certifications for a number of fields of work.
Last year, Gov. Eric Greitens signed a bill that will make St. Louis, along with Boone County, Butler and Greene Counties, home to the new Goodwill Excel Centers. These Excel Centers will allow adults to finish their diplomas as well as provide them with job training after graduation. The Excel Centers will be no different from traditional high schools from a curriculum standpoint. The diploma will be the same as a traditional high school diploma. Recruitment for those interested will begin immediately.
“We are thrilled to earn the contract from the State of Missouri,” said David Kutchback, president and CEO of MERS Goodwill. “The Goodwill Excel Centers will further our vision of a community where each individual has the opportunity to learn, work and achieve their greatest potential. We know the need is there, and we are ready to serve. Additionally, we want to thank Speaker Todd Richardson for his leadership and support in establishing adult high schools in Missouri.”
There are approximately 500,000 people in Missouri over 21 without a high school diploma. MERS Goodwill hopes that people take advantage of the Goodwill Excel Centers when they open. Educational services will be provided free of charge. Class times will be flexible to accommodate people’s work schedules, and each facility will have a “drop-in” child care center. Those interested in applying can call 314-982-8802.
“We are excited to serve even more people in our region and to strengthen communities in Missouri,” remarked Darryl Jones, Board President of MERS Goodwill. “Having a high school diploma can improve an individual’s employment opportunities and future earnings, and it’s exactly what our mission stands for: ‘Changing lives through the power of work’. I’m so pleased to be a part of this new chapter for not just MERS Goodwill but for the state of Missouri.”
MERS Goodwill is in the process of searching for a Superintendent as well as 30 new staff. They plan to open the first Goodwill Excel Center in the City of St. Louis by October, with the second school opening in Poplar Bluff in January of 2019. The third and fourth schools will be located in Columbia, MO and Springfield, MO.