Goodwill's Excel Center Model Continues to Spread

Posted: Updated:
(Image courtesy of Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana.) (Image courtesy of Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana.)
INDIANAPOLIS -

A model for tuition-free adult high schools that started in Indiana is continuing to expand its footprint in the state and the country. The Excel Center, which was launched with 300 students in 2010 by a nonprofit formed by Indianapolis-based Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana, recently graduated its 3,000th student. Other Goodwill organizations, including South Bend-based Goodwill Industries of Michiana, began their own Excel Centers in 2013. The programs are now operated in Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas and Washington D.C.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana Chief Executive Officer Kent Kramer said there's a great need everywhere for getting working-age adults a diploma. He says around 30 million adults in the U.S. did not finish high school and other Goodwill organizations that have started Excel Centers see what he does. "If you are a high school dropout with limited skill sets, it's really, really tough," he says. "They have the same waitlists, they have the same experiences we do with people finding success once they get that diploma."

Kramer says research from the Center for Evaluation & Education Policy at Indiana University shows the program's first 2,400 graduates reported higher annual earnings of almost $10,000 once they received their diploma.

In the eight years since the program was launched, Kramer says leaders have found ways to help students overcome hurdles by implementing programs such childcare and offering free public bus passes. Life coaches play an important role in each students experience, too, he adds. These employees provide educational, housing, food insecurity and employment services help to keep students on-track. "Many of our students, when they walk across that stage and they're asked to pick one staff member that made a huge difference -- and that's who hands them that diploma -- many times, it's that life coach," Kramer said.

Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana currently operates 12 Excel Centers throughout its territories, with a Muncie location slated to open soon. Five other Goodwill organizations have opened Excel Centers and Kramer says eight or nine other Goodwills are exploring the possibility. "There's 30 million working-age adults in the U.S. that have dropped out of high school trying to figure out how take care of family, how to advance in jobs, and the best way to do that is through education and it starts with a high school diploma."

You can connect to more about the Excel Center by clicking here.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana Chief Executive Officer Kent Kramer says there's a great need everywhere for getting working-age adults a diploma.
  • Perspectives

    • You Probably Don't Know Your Customers All That Well

      If your objective is to increase the number of customers you serve, a prudent way to start is by taking a closer look at the customers you already have. If that sounds odd, consider that the customers you already work with are presumably happy with the work you perform on their behalf. If you use what you know about them and what you do for them as a model, you can more effectively identify other prospective customers with similar traits. In addition, the better you know your...

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Ambrose Amps up Ambition For Old GM Stamping Site

      An Indianapolis-based developer has greatly expanded its original investment plans for the city's former GM Stamping Plant site. Ambrose Property Group's vision now includes projects totaling nearly $1.4 billion, more than doubling the $550 million scope detailed last year. During a community event Friday, the company and Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the name of the more than 100-acre, downtown district: Waterside. Plans now call for...

    • Indy Airport Scores Top Honor Again

      Indianapolis International Airport has again been named Best Airport in the United States by a global leisure publication. The Condé Nast Traveler recognition is the fifth straight for IND. The Best Airport designation is part of Traveler's annual Readers Choice Awards, which is built on feedback from more than 100,000 comments and millions of ratings. In addition to airports, favorites were tallied for hotels, resorts and destinations.

    • Indy Hotels Among Top in Midwest

      Three Indianapolis hotels are among Condé Nast Traveler's Top 25 Hotels in the Midwest. The rankings include two hotels that have made the list three years in a row and one making its debut. The JW Marriott Indianapolis ranks third on this year's list, followed by The Conrad, which is eighth and Ironworks Hotels appearing on the list for the first time at number 17. You can see the full rankings by...

    • Angie's List Parent Acquires New York Tech Company

      Colorado-based ANGI Homeservices Inc. (Nasdaq: ANGI), which has a major presence in Indianapolis, has announced plans to acquire a tech company based in New York. Financial terms of the deal for Handy Technologies Inc. are not being disclosed, however ANGI says Handy will continue to operate out of New York City.

    • The Impact of Technology on Economic Development Policy

      In a world where technology is enabling almost everything, economic development policy makers are faced with several challenges when planning and implementing strategies for economic growth. Communities, regions and states must be able to adapt programs and initiatives to address the economic disruption caused by technology. In particular, investments in tech and talent are vital to ensuring economic growth and wealth creation for residents and businesses throughout the world.