Employees and Residents in Texas and Florida Regions can Earn Accredited Online High School Diploma, at No Cost

Three additional Goodwill organization have joined the growing number of national organizations to offer Career Online High School (COHS): Heart of Texas Goodwill; Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth; and Goodwill Manasota (FL). Employees and/or residents in those regions can now earn an accredited, online high school diploma and workforce certificate at no cost.

Since 2016, Goodwill organizations around the country have partnered with COHS in an effort to upskill members of their workforce, and to improve community members’ job prospects. Goodwill is on a growing list of corporations, workforce boards, non-profit organizations, and public libraries to offer the program, as the shared benefits to companies, constituents, and communities become evident.

“Our mission is to change lives through the power of work,” stated Marc A. Thompson, compliance director of Goodwill in Fort Worth. “With COHS, students gain the necessary credentials and education to improve their career prospects, as well as the opportunity to address any skills gaps.” With the 28 counties served by the Fort Worth, Heart of Texas, and Manasota Goodwill organizations, COHS is now offered to tens of thousands of residents in areas including New England, Minnesota, North Dakota, and West Central Florida.

“We heard of COHS because they work with a number of other Goodwills around the country,” said Margie Genter, vice president of mission services for Goodwill Manasota. “The feedback has been very good; we are looking forward to seeing how our initial enrollees do so that we can consider expanding our participation in the future.”

The competency-based program focuses on practical, real-world job skills and training. In addition to the high school diploma, students earn a career certificate in areas including Retail Customer Service, Food and Hospitality, Certified Protection Officer, Office Management, Child Care, and Commercial Driving. Students have up to 18 months to complete the program but can transfer in previous high school credits to graduate sooner. Each student is paired with an academic coach, who helps them stay on track to successfully complete the program.

“We had been looking for an alternative to GED classes,” explained Ms. Genter. “Sometimes, a better option than sitting for the GED test is to earn the high school credits….It is not quite as intimidating for a lot of our Team Members.”

Watch video on Goodwill of the Great Plains’ program and student success story:

About Career Online High School
Career Online High School was developed in 2012 through a partnership by ed2go, a division of Cengage that provides students with online continuing education and career training, and Smart Horizons Career Online Education in an effort to provide affordable, career-based online education opportunities for the millions of adults in the United States without high school diplomas. For more information, visit careeronlinehs.org.

About Heart of Texas Goodwill Industries
Heart of Texas Goodwill Industries (HOTGW) was founded in 1955 and has an assigned territory of 20 counties in Central Texas and the Brazos Valley. Currently HOTGW operates 14 retail stores and 3 outlet centers that provide affordable goods to the community, create jobs for people with disabilities, and generate revenue to fund mission programs.

As the non-profit leader in providing skills training and career services for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment, Goodwill customizes service programs based on the needs of the community in which it serves. Service programs are offered in HOTGW retail facilities, at off-site locations in partnership with other local agencies, or in one of 4 Goodwill Job Connections. For more information, visit www.hotgoodwill.org.

Goodwill is more than a thrift store. The largest employer of people with disabilities in the world, Goodwill believes that work has the power to transform lives by building self-confidence, independence, creativity, trust and friendships. Everyone deserves this chance.Goodwill Fort Worth’s 23 retail locations provide revenue through the sale of donated goods to support Goodwill’s mission – job training and career services for people with disabilities, such as physical or mental disabilities and other barriers to employment including lack of education or work experience and homelessness. For more information on Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth, please visit www.goodwillfortworth.org.

About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities.

In 2017, Goodwill Manasota served 11,672 people, placed 555 people in jobs, assisted 360 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce, and provided 19,540 hours of on-the-clock training for its employees. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 41 million pounds out of the landfill. Goodwill Manasota is 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 www.experiencegoodwill.org.