Changing Lives Through Education, Training and Employment

Goodwill Industries of Arkansas (Not in Arkansas?)

501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization

The Excel Center™ at Goodwill

The Academy at Goodwill to Offer Mental Health First Aid Class

Since July, Goodwill Industries of Arkansas’s programs have helped more than 16,000 Arkansans change their lives through education, training and employment. And now, that effort is expanding.

This year, one of those programs, The Academy at Goodwill is offering a new training course to the public: Mental Health First Aid. Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. This 8-hour training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to appropriate care.

The next Mental Health First Aid training will be Dec. 6. To view the pdf of the flyer click here.

This program, along with the others offered by The Academy – CPR, Forklift Certification and Welding prepare and train Arkansans for a variety of diverse, skilled jobs in Arkansas’s thriving economic environment. To learn more about these classes you can email or call 501-372-5100 ext. 1192.

“The Academy at Goodwill provides much-needed training for Arkansans seeking employment or in search of better-paying, higher-skill jobs. Employers are also using these courses as a way to better train their workforce.”
— Branndii Peterson, Program Development Manager – Business Relations

Hope Rises, Goodwill's Community Partner of the Year 2018

From Addiction and Incarceration, Goodwill Changes the Lives of Arkansans

It wasn’t something you’d expect to impact a family like hers. Jamie says they were close, loving and active in their church. But addiction knows no stereotype. 

Jamie’s long battle with drug addiction began shortly after her family moved to Arkansas from St. Louis. A new girl in a small town, she says there wasn’t much else to do.

At 16, Jamie gave birth to her first child and remained sober for a year, but a day after his first birthday, she says she began what would be a “20 year run.” During that time, she had two more children and eventually was arrested.

A few months into her prison sentence, Jamie knew she had life changes to make. She promised herself she would never be behind bars again. After her release, though, Jamie had a tough time finding a job. She had never worked before, not doing anything legal anyway.

She turned to Goodwill’s Transitional Employment Opportunity program. Jamie attended a meeting with Goodwill’s re-entry team while in prison just to get out of her unit, but with few options now, she decided to give it a try. She completed the 16-week training program, and the true test began. It was time to get a job.

“The TEO program actually saved my life. I came out of prison, and I was on fire to do better, but at first I just wasn’t getting the opportunities,” Jamie said.

She learned about a position at Candlewood Suites in Jonesboro, and cautiously optimistic, went there an applied. She was hired on the spot, and after one year promoted to hotel general manager. Jamie has maintained her sobriety and reunited with her three children and her parents.




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Our Impact in Arkansas so far This Fiscal Year

July 1, 2019 - October 31, 2019
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 The second graduating class at The Excel Center® receives their diplomas

June 15, 2019, the second graduating class at The Excel Center received their high school diplomas. The ceremony at McClellan High School in Little Rock was filled with graduates’ friends and families.  This graduating class included 18 men and women, ranging in age from 19 to 55.

The Excel Center is Arkansas’s first tuition-free high school designed for adults. The next term begins February 10, 2020. We are currently accepting applications. Click here to learn more.

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Goodwill Industries of Arkansas
7400 Scott Hamilton Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas
877-372-5151 toll free

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Goodwill Industries of Arkansas