The Board of Directors for Goodwill has approved plans to pursue the opening of an Excel Center in Rockford to help those without a high school diploma become better educated and more employable.
The center is an educational facility which will provide adults with the ability to obtain a high school diploma as well as a post-secondary degree at the same time. Goodwill says it will be modeled after a successful center in Indianapolis, which is tuition free.
Goodwill Industries of Norther Illinois President Sam Schmitz said in a news release that, “… since their inception just five years ago, (Excel Centers) have positioned hundreds of graduates for college and higher paying career paths. For some 45,000 adult residents in our region without a high school diploma or equivalent, an Excel Center represents another option for success.”
Goodwill will fund and oversee the operation. Details on funding were not immediately available.
In the coming weeks, Schmitz says that area legislators are expected to introduce a bill in the Illinois House and Senate that will remove the 21-year-old age cap on individuals who may receive a high school diploma. He adds that help from all community stakeholders will be necessary to make the Excel Center a success.