As many of you know, Goodwill is a part of the Central GA community that is very near and dear to my heart. I have been a part of Goodwill Industries of Middle GA & the CSRA since 2005. As an active member of their Strategic Advisory Committee, and now in my 5th year as an Executive Board Member, I’m proud that we are putting our 2020 strategic plan for the future into action.
As part of the strategic plan, we have designated committees to help achieve the organization’s plans for capital improvement. Part of the focus of the Strategic Advisory Committee is to plan and budget for the next four years of growth at Helms College, which was developed by Goodwill of Middle GA & the CSRA. This growth, which will benefit the entire community, includes pursuing expansion within the catering genre of Helms College. We’re also planning for geographical expansion with hopes of opening additional schools in Georgia, South Carolina and beyond. You can read more about future plans for Helms College in our blog, Pride and Prosperity; Looking Ahead to the Future of Helms College.
Reflecting on the school’s accomplishments in 2017, Helms College graduated its first class in their new two-year degree program, the Associate in Applied Science in Culinary Arts. This exciting program was added to Helms College’s existing Diploma programs in Culinary Arts (Macon and Augusta) and Health Services (Augusta). The addition of a two-year degree has led to a substantial increase in student enrollment.
The Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts prepares graduates for executive chef, sous chef and restaurant manager positions. The Culinary Arts Diploma prepares students for restaurant management and supervisory positions. The Helms College School of Health Services trains students for one of three different career paths: Multi-Skilled Medical Assistant, Medical Administrative Assistant or Patient Care Technician.
Two restaurants provide Helms College culinary students with hands-on learning opportunities to work alongside executive chefs, experienced sous chefs and restaurant managers: Edgar’s Bistro in Macon and Edgar’s Grille in Augusta. Edgar’s Bistro has expanded its hours of operation and is now open for lunch and dinner in Macon on Monday through Friday.
Goodwill Industries began with in the early 1900s with the goal to help people learn job skills to create better opportunities for themselves and their families. In that light, Helms College offers high-demand occupation middle-skills education programs for 2020 and beyond that change lives, families and communities—one career at a time. I am honored to be a part of that effort in our Central Georgia community.