Goodwill North Georgia inaugural gala benefitting job training raises $290K

A Goodwill North Georgia inaugural gala benefitting career training programs has raised more than $290,000.

Goodwill North Georgia CEO Keith Parker and Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens attended the Nov. 12 event at Flourish Atlanta. The night highlighted Goodwill’s GoodBiz Entrepreneurship Program which offers free business coaching workshops lasting up to 15 weeks.

During the event, Dickens, a board member of Goodwill North Georgia, announced young entrepreneur Deju Green as the winner of a “Battle of the Biz” competition. She was awarded a $10,000 prize.

Green was one of three finalists who presented business proposals to a panel of judges prior to the event.

She founded EdgeTutoring, a nonprofit offering online and in-person, academic tutoring by teachers in test preparation, science, technology, engineering and math, and reading year-round, a Goodwill North Georgia statement said.

The other two finalists for the monetary prize were Wesley Chenoweth who started Grizzly Delivery transportation company for passengers and courier services between Athens and Atlanta; and James Thomas, who owns Montfichet & Company, an affordable marketing services firm.

ExploreNearly 20,000 North Georgians per year find jobs via Goodwill career centers

Goodwill North Georgia operates 14 career centers that support free job training and placement services to thousands job seekers. In fiscal year 2022, the organization has helped over 16,000 get connected with jobs, according to the nonprofit.

“Over the last five years, Goodwill of North Georgia has helped 37,000 families move out of poverty,” Parker said. “The Battle of the BIZ gala played an important role in raising critical funds for our mission. Because of the generosity of our sponsors and guests, Goodwill will continue to change the lives of the jobseekers who need us most in our community.”