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Column: Goodwill of North Ga. hits goal of putting 100,000 people to work

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on June 29, 2018

Goodwill of North Georgia has met its five-year goal of connecting 100,000 people to jobs — in the nick of time.

“The goal was set in 2013, and the deadline was June 30th, 2018,” said Keith Parker, who has been president and CEO of Goodwill of North Georgia since last October. “We made it with a week-and-a-half to spare.”

Keith Parker

Keith Parker, CEO of Goodwill of North Georgia (Photo by Maria Saporta)

“Goodwill and my career coach were both very instrumental in allowing me to be able to keep my job and get promoted,” Harris said.

Looking forward, Parker said Goodwill of North Georgia is discussing setting its next goal in an environment of near full-employment. Goodwill is looking to increase its skill training at its 13 regional career centers so people can take advantage of jobs in the construction and landscaping sectors.

“We want to be seen as a place that prepares people for lifelong career opportunities,” Parker said. “The job scene is changing dramatically and quickly so we need to adapt with it.”

He said it’s important for people to realize that when they make donations to Goodwill, “it helps create life-altering jobs.”

AdvanceED merger

The Alpharetta-based education nonprofit AdvanceED is merging with Dover, N.H.-based Measured Progress, one of the nation’s leading student assessment organizations.

AdvancED works with more than 36,000 schools in the United States and with more than 70 nations and is the world’s largest accrediting body.

The merger will create a $120 million nonprofit organization with 500 employees that will serve at least 28 million students in more than 40,000 schools. Mark Elgart, president and CEO of AdvancED, will be the president and CEO of the new organization.

“AdvancED and Measured Progress share similar missions and common values, and support the same clients — students and educators from states, districts, and schools across the United States and the globe,” Elgart said in a statement. “By combining our talent, school-based solutions, expertise in measurement, and commitment to continuous improvement, we can address the comprehensive needs of students and schools, and help accelerate improvement.”

Martin Borg, president and CEO of Measured Progress, will lead the integration of existing products and the development of new product offerings.

“This merger is about supporting educators and improving outcomes for all young people by creating a multi-faceted organization with an intensified focus,” Borg said in a statement.

The name of the new organization will be finalized in the next few months, with the merger expected to be completed by the end of the year. The company will maintain headquarters in Atlanta and Dover, N.H., plus an accreditation headquarters site in Tempe, Ariz.

Getting access to capital

Atlanta-based Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs has entered into a partnership with CNote, a company based in the San Francisco area, to increase financial support of underserved small-business owners across metro Atlanta and rural north Georgia.

The partnership aligns with ACE’s new five-year plan to provide an additional $115 million in loans to the communities it serves.

ACE and CNote share a vision to grow small businesses and help underserved communities. CNote allows the consumer to invest savings in causes he or she cares about while at the same time getting a return on the investment.

“With CNote as a new capital source, ACE will be able to provide increased levels of debt capital, which facilitates our growth plan and helps support our lending capacity,” said Joshua Brackett, chief financial officer of ACE. “We look forward to a fruitful, long-term partnership with CNote. And we are particularly excited about what this means for our local businesses — more capital.”

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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