An education initiative created by Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana Inc. is expanding beyond the state. The organization plans to open an Excel Center in Austin, Texas this summer to go along with the nine operating in central Indiana. Goodwill Education Initiatives Inc. Chief Operating Officer Scott Bess says the centers are designed to give people who dropped out of high school a chance to resume their education. In our (i) on Education segment, Bess discussed the initiative's rapid growth. Bess says the adult public charter school launched in 2010 with roughly 300 students at one location.

The nine central Indiana sites are located in Anderson, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Lafayette and Richmond and currently have about 2,900 students.

Bess tells Inside INdiana Business many who complete the program have gone on to further their education with certifications in high-growth industries, which “completely changes the trajectory of their lives.”

A Ball State University analysis suggests the average graduate of the program stands to earn over $4,500 more per year than non-graduates.

He says the organization is working with state lawmakers to put together a focused expansion plan that falls within a structured budget.

Bess says graduates range in age from 17 to 70, but most are in their early-to-mid-20s.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

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