MERS/Goodwill Wins Microsoft Grant

$775,224 worth of software awarded for use in Goodwill's training and employment programs

MERS/Goodwill was awarded $775,224 worth of software this week, as part of Microsoft's Unlimited Potential program, which aims to provide tools, technology, training and resources to improve education, job training and community innovation initiatives. The grant will allow MERS/Goodwill to upgrade software used for vocational services provided in the 76 counties served throughout Missouri and Illinois.

"The Unlimited Potential program recognizes the importance of providing local communities with the right tools to develop a workforce for the 21st century," said Jeff Cartnal, Vice President for Program Development at MERS/Goodwill. "Microsoft's software grant will allow us to improve the technology available for staff and clients to whom we provide critical training and employment services."

Items received through the Unlimited Potential grant include the latest Microsoft Office software. These items will assist in a number of MERS/Goodwill's employment and rehabilitation programs which help individuals who face economic, physical, mental or other disadvantages. Services offered include those that teach basic software skills and skills training as well as job development and placement activities. MERS/Goodwill served more than 14,000 individuals in 2010 and expects to serve more than 18,000 people this year.

About Microsoft Unlimited Potential
Microsoft Unlimited Potential is a company-wide effort to bring together business and philanthropic approaches to make technology more relevant, accessible, and affordable; encouraging close collaboration among businesses, local governments, educational institutions, and community organizations. With our partners, we are focused on transforming education, fostering local innovation, and enabling jobs and opportunities to create a continuous cycle of sustained growth and opportunity. For more information, visit www.microsoft.com/unlimitedpotential/default.mspx

About MERS/Goodwill
MERS/Goodwill is a non-profit agency that provides for the vocational needs of individuals who have barriers to employment through disability or economic disadvantage. Annually serving more than 14,000 people, the organization operates 50 service centers in 76 counties in the bi-state area. Revenues from 40 Goodwill stores and the auto donation program assist with funding MERS/Goodwill job training and employment services. MERS/Goodwill is a proud member of the United Way. For more information about MERS/Goodwill or to find a Goodwill donation center near you, call 314-241-3464 or visit www.mersgoodwill.org.