Sarasota, Fla. – A program started in 2011 by Goodwill Manasota, in a partnership with Ave Maria School, is yielding great results for Goodwill employees with aspirations to earn high school diplomas. The Workforce Education Pilot program takes approximately two years to complete and is designed to help team members that are employed, between the ages of 22-30, and face some type of disability.
Annabel, a former Goodwill employee, is one of the program’s first success stories. She enrolled in the pilot program and received her high school diploma on May 23, 2013 despite many difficulties and past failures. “Goodwill’s partnership with Ave Maria has created the platform that took this student from Goodwill employment to education to a full-time job in the community,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “More than 100 Goodwill Manasota employees do not have a high school diploma, and this program, which meets twice a week and holds classes at Goodwill locations as well as at the Ave Maria School, exists to help them succeed, at no cost to them,” said Rosinsky.
Annabel enrolled in the program after losing her job at a local supermarket. She was never able to get her diploma as family matters took priority in her life. “When you are a teenager, the only thing you have to do is go to school. As an adult, there are many more distractions in life: families, work and transportation, to name a few,” said Annabel.
She struggled with the program at first, but thanks to her GoodPartner coach, who helped with her schedule and her spirit, Annabel received high school diploma and recently found a fantastic job with the County Health Department assisting with the WIC program, which provides food to families with very low income. Annabel will work full-time, have weekends off and see a sizable increase in pay. “I would never have been considered for this job without the high school diploma that I got because of Goodwill Manasota. I am very thankful for this program which served as my launching pad,” she said.
The Workforce Education Pilot program started in 2011 with 30 students, continued with 35 students in 2012 and has 26 students enrolled this year.
About Goodwill Manasota:
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. For more than 110 years, Goodwill has provided opportunities through such programs as Donated Goods Employment Services, Job Connection, JobsPlus, Supported JobsPlus, HomeBuyer’s Club, Mission Development Services, White Glove Services, Good Neighbor Program and Ambassadors Program. Goodwill continues to assist people with disabilities and barriers to opportunity by changing lives through the power of work. Goodwill Manasota, Inc. is legally organized under the laws of the United States and the State of Florida. We are accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit ExperienceGoodwill.org.
For more information on the Workforce Education pilot program, visit: http://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2012/1004.935 and http://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/information/adult_education/
# # #