Goodwill, Able Trust partner to help students with disabilities earn diplomas

Goodwill Manasota partners with Able Trust Foundation to create the innovative High School Tech Program in DeSoto County

Published Thursday, December 17, 2015

SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Goodwill Manasota has partnered with the Able Trust Foundation to implement the High School High Tech (HSHT) program, designed for students with disabilities. The program, which is geared toward students age 14-22, provides an opportunity to learn about potential career paths in the swiftly growing fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

While the HSHT program is designed to encourage students with disabilities to pursue careers in STEM, it also offers the opportunity to pursue professional and artistic careers. The program will enable students with disabilities to earn their high school diplomas and apply for college, while finding employment opportunities that are best suited for them. Classes will be held weekly at the Goodwill Job Connection office in Arcadia; the curriculum includes internships, job shadowing, and employer and college site visits.

“Goodwill Manasota is proud to partner with The Able Trust Foundation for this extremely worthy venture. We believe in changing lives through the power of work, and we are committed to engaging like-minded groups in order to achieve this goal,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “Our goal is to give students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience while learning about careers in fields that interest them, regardless of the barriers they may face. We are grateful to The Able Trust Foundation for partnering with us to help students with disabilities to achieve their career and life goals.”

By enabling students with disabilities to earn a postsecondary education/training, HSHT will increase their graduation rate, enhance their employability skills and expand their future potential for success.

“Goodwill is an ideal for the High School High Tech Program as our missions are aligned: we both believe in assisting individuals with disabilities, and helping those who wish to find employment to enter the workforce,” said Allison Chase, Vice President of Youth Programs at The Able Trust. “We look forward to watching the participating students graduate and take their initial steps toward fulfilling and successful careers.”

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 2014, Goodwill Manasota served more than 16,000 people, placed 680 people in jobs and assisted 520 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 39 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. 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.