News 12 This Morning / Monday, April 30, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Goodwill is on a mission to put people back to work.
Construction on a new campus is expected to wrap up this summer and be ready for class in the fall. Goodwill's groundbreaking new campus has an unusual location, right next to the retail store on Furys Ferry and Washington roads.
"We are the only Goodwill in the nation to have a culinary arts school," said Susan Everitt, director of communications for Goodwill.
Everitt was excited to show the new layout of the institute. The $12 million project will include five classrooms, three culinary kitchens for students and a banquet area, along with a fully functioning restaurant.
"Not only will they go to school, they'll also work in their field at the same time," Everitt explained.
The growth and expansion is also expected to give a boost to the local economy. Jim Stiff, president and CEO of Goodwill, says this will generate over $600 million in new payroll purchasing power with all of the graduates over a 10-year period.
"Part of what is going to be so unique about our college is that every student will have a case manager. They will have a mentor and a work program associated with their degree," Everitt added.
The goal is to have 100 percent job placement once students complete certificate or degree programs.
"We have some people that have been laid off and we have people that can't find a job, people looking for their first job," Everitt said.
Named after Goodwill's founder Edgar Helms, the Helms Institute is funded through donations and Goodwill retail sales could help establish the building blocks for new careers for hundreds of students.
Four hundred students are expected to enroll in the first three years. Classes start this October. If you're interested in enrolling or finding out more information, you can check out the Helms Institute website here.
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