Contributed by Goodwill

Initiative Made Possible by $10 Million Gift from MacKenzie Scott in 2020 Goodwill Southern Rivers (Goodwill) today announced that it will be awarding $1 million to be divided equally amongst the seven regional technical colleges within its territory.

Through this initiative, technical and community colleges will receive funds to help make up the difference between an individual’s grant for technical training and the cost of tuition.

“This initiative is designed to bridge the gap between existing scholarships and grants and the actual cost of tuition,” said Goodwill President and CEO Jack Warden. “There are several grants and scholarships out there, but in some instances, they fall short of the actual cost of the program.

“Oftentimes this is just a few hundred dollars, but that can be a huge barrier to someone trying to get an education to start their career. This money will be distributed by the individual colleges to cover that difference.”

The seven colleges within the 50-county territory served by Goodwill Southern Rivers are:

• Albany Technical College, Albany, Georgia

• Chattahoochee Valley Community College, Phenix City, Alabama

• Columbus Technical College, Columbus, Georgia

• Southern Regional Technical College, Tifton, Georgia

• Southern Union State Community College, Opelika, Alabama

• West Georgia Technical College, Carrollton, Georgia

Wiregrass Technical College, Valdosta, Georgia.

The gap grants will be managed through the colleges’ foundations, and each college will develop and manage their own selection criteria.

“This gap grant initiative directly aligns with our mission of changing lives through the power of work, and we know this grant will address financial barriers that many individuals face in attending college or completing their degree,” Warden said. 

The introduction of the technical college gap grants is one of the first initiatives implemented as a result of the $10 million donation Goodwill received from MacKenzie Scott. While the organization was honored to receive such a donation, there was also a great sense of responsibility.

Goodwill spent the majority of 2021 meeting internally and with community leaders across the territory to discuss a range of initiatives that would best benefit the community. Other initiatives will be announced over the course of 2022.

“This initiative aligns directly with our mission at Goodwill,” said Goodwill Vice-President of Mission Services Tricia Llewellyn-Konan. “As such, we stand ready to support the gap grant recipients post-graduation with job placement services and support.”

Goodwill has long been dedicated to closing the skills gap and eliminating barriers that often stand in the way of securing meaningful employment. With nine career centers and four training centers across their 50-county territory, approximately 30,000 individuals used Goodwill’s career services in 2021, with 4,700 of those individuals being directly connected to jobs.

These free services have historically been funded almost entirely by the sale of donated goods in its retail stores. As new initiatives are implemented Goodwill looks to continue to expand their services and reach even more individuals in the community.

About Goodwill Southern Rivers:

Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers (GoodwillSR) is one of 156 independent, community-

based Goodwill nonprofits across the United States and Canada. Headquartered in Columbus,

Georgia, GoodwillSR serves 50 counties throughout east Alabama and west Georgia. We provide employment readiness training, computer access, educational assistance, skills workshops and more to spur job placement and economic stability in the communities we serve. We can provide these and other programs thanks to the continued donations of giving patrons. We use the revenue generated in GoodwillSR stores to fund the majority of our community services. For more information about Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers, visit