Goodwill to Provide Financial Pathway to Higher Ed for Employees

Sheena Reed, Goodwill employee and Valencia student-to-be; and Luis Diaz, Goodwill employee and UCF student

Two out of five college students drop out of school for financial reasons. With this and other reasons in mind, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida recently announced a prepaid tuition program that will cover the cost of college or vocational school for its employees.

All part- and full-time GICF employees with at least 90 days of continuous employment are eligible to have 100% of their tuition, books and other fees covered in advance, rather than being reimbursed after the fact. Those who are interested in the program will be paired with a Prosperity Planner – a Goodwill team member who specializes in financial and career goal strategies – to help develop an individualized action plan and provide one-on-one coaching.

Two of the employees who will be impacted, Luis Diaz and Sheena Reed, stood up to share their stories and speak about what the new Tuition Scholarship Program means to them. With the help of this program, Luis is pursuing a psychology degree from the University of Central Florida and Sheena will attend Valencia to pursue a degree in photography. Dr. Theodorea Regina Berry, Vice Provost and Dean of UCF, also spoke about her support of the program.

“We want our employees to be trained to be successful at their jobs – and we want their jobs to help them accomplish the goals they desire in life,” said Ed Durkee, President and CEO at Goodwill Industries of Central Florida. “We believe that the cost of education should not stand in the way of those aspirations, so we intend to provide employees with the financial pathway to achieve a degree or skilled trade.”

The new pre-paid tuition program embodies Goodwill’s mission of “building lives that work,” and – as an addition to a generous, best-in-class benefits package – it serves as an incentive to attract new employees. Currently, Goodwill employs more than 1,200 individuals across Orange, Osceola, Lake, Brevard, Seminole and Volusia counties and has job openings in various departments including retail, warehouse, transportation, HR and IT.

Other eligibility requirements for employees include:

  • Enrolling at a Florida-state public college/university, accredited technical college or trade  school
  • Maintaining a passing grade of “C” or its equivalent

Anyone interested in working at Goodwill should fill out an online application and monitor the organization’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages for announcements about upcoming hiring events.


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