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Bank of America grant helps local Goodwill Industries train for essential medical positions

June 29, 2022 (AUGUSTA, Ga.) — Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA (GIMG) will expand its capacity to train Augusta area residents for essential medical positions thanks to a grant from Bank of America. The grant will help fund new health care credentialing opportunities through Helms Career Education (HCE), an arm of GIMG.

In the coming year, GIMG expects to enroll 75 students in the new program that offers industry recognized certification in high-demand medical occupational fields of medical administrative assistant, electrocardiogram technician, phlebotomy technician and medical unit secretary. Courses are relatively low cost and designed to be completed in a few weeks to a few months, allowing graduates to quickly increase their employment and earning potential, as well as position themselves for workforce advancement. Courses will be taught at the Goodwill Job Connection Career Center location in Grovetown (4019 Gateway Boulevard).

“Funding from Bank of America will allow us to significantly increase the number of qualified workers eligible to fill positions in ever-growing Columbia County,” said Leah Pontani, Senior Vice President of Career Development, GIMG.

Last year alone, GIMG placed 4,105 individuals in competitive employment. The mission of its HCE programs and career development team is to provide educational and training programs to those seeking “a hand-up” in the career world. HCE works with students seeking additional learning opportunities, as well as individuals with employment barriers. The goal, as with all Goodwill programs, is to assist individuals with the skills and resources required to garner and retain competitive employment.

“For many years, Bank of America has worked with nonprofit partners in Augusta like Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA to help drive economic mobility for vulnerable populations,” said Ora Parish, President of Bank of America Greater Augusta and Aiken. “Showing support to organizations like Goodwill that are providing critical services and programs is just one of the ways we are helping improve the quality of life in the communities we serve.”

To learn more about Goodwill Industries’ Helms Career Education programs, go to

Helms Career Education medical student working in the classroom