Goodwill And Lumina Foundation Give Millions Of Americans A ‘Second Chance’ At Earning A Degree

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Commitment Focuses on Creating Pathways, Services and Policies for Individuals to Earn College Degrees and Advanced Training

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Goodwill® agencies have robust partnerships with workforce investment institutions, corporations and businesses -- placing people in jobs and providing other supports for people with challenges to finding employment within their local communities.

Lumina Foundation for Education announced today a grant of $250,000 to Goodwill Industries International for the purpose of supporting The Community College/Career Collaboration, better known as the C4 project. The collaboration was launched in 2009, and includes Goodwill Industries International, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Aspen Institute, Jobs for the Future, and three pilot local community college/Goodwill partnerships with successful, replicable models in northern Virginia, San Antonio, TX, and Winston-Salem, NC. With 37 million adults ages 25–64—more than 20 percent of the working age population—having attended a college but never earned a degree or credential, these efforts to provide a second chance for these adults could be a big boost to the nation’s goal to dramatically increase college degree attainment and advance the nation’s workforce productivity.

The goal of the C4 project is to increase college and career success for thousands of vulnerable individuals who lack a college or career credential by providing them with easy access to education, job-specific training and supportive services. The project will engage up to 30 new partnerships, with a goal of fostering 20 new community college/Goodwill partnerships to commit to implementing elements of the three models.

“Goodwill® agencies have robust partnerships with workforce investment institutions, corporations and businesses -- placing people in jobs and providing other supports for people with challenges to finding employment within their local communities,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “By tapping into the educational expertise of community colleges, Goodwill will be able to effectively serve the needs of workers with financial challenges by providing them access to financial aid to fund college studies and progress to receive award degrees and training certificates.”

The C4 project combines the strengths of the nation’s two largest delivery systems for people with low-incomes by building a foundation to allow family breadwinners a convenient way to access job placement guidance, career training and education programs. For more than 30 years, America’s 1,100 community colleges have struggled to attract and respond to an increasing number of America’s 61 million adults over the age of 25 who lack a college credential. Once new Community College/Goodwill partnerships are launched, thousands of adults will have the opportunity to participate in college and career programs.

“There is growing evidence that adults who have gone to college but not received a degree are looking for a second chance but need the right kind of information and motivation to help them succeed,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation for Education. “This vital work aligns directly with our goal to increase the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees or credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Given demographic trends and attainment rates among young adults, it is highly unlikely that the nation can meet its growing need for college-educated workers only by focusing on recent high school graduates.”

Throughout the first year of the C4 project, the two organizations will focus on those individuals most in need, including single parents, veterans, people with criminal backgrounds, returning adult workers and those with only a high school graduation.

To view abstracts of the grants, visit http://www.luminafoundation.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Lauren Lawson
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5266
Lauren.Lawson(at)goodwill(dot)org

Adam Shapiro
Lipman Hearne on behalf of the Lumina Foundation for Education
Phone: (202) 457-8100
ashapiro(at)lipmanhearne(dot)com

About Goodwill Industries International
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based agencies in the United States and Canada with 14 affiliates in 13 other countries. Goodwill is one of North America's top five most valuable and recognized nonprofit brands as well as a leading social services enterprise (Source: Cone Nonprofit Power Brand 100, 2009). Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 2,400 retail stores and online at shopgoodwill.com. Local Goodwill agencies 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 service preparation, and document imaging and shredding. In 2009, nearly 2 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill channels 83 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services. To find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at http://www.goodwill.org , or call (800) 741-0186. Twitter: @GoodwillIntl. Facebook: GoodwillIntl.

About Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation for Education is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college—especially low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners. Our goal is to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change.

Web: http://www.luminafoundation.org
Twitter: @luminafound, @Goal2025
You can also follow Lumina's CEO on Twitter
For more information, contact Lucia Anderson at (317) 951-5316

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