Goodwill Excel Center in Poplar Bluff Set to Open October 22

New Adult High School Hires First Director and Begins Student Recruitment

Poplar Bluff, MO (July 31, 2018) – MERS Goodwill announces the Poplar Bluff location of the new Goodwill Excel Center will be at 2213 N. Westwood Blvd. formerly occupied by Kmart. Scheduled to open Monday, October 22, the school will help adults earn their high school diploma free of charge. The school will be led by Blane Keel, recently named as the new Director of the Goodwill Excel Center in Poplar Bluff.

“Construction is underway, and we are excited to have Blane on board as we get set to open the Poplar Bluff Goodwill Excel Center in just a few short months,” said David Kutchback, President and CEO of MERS Goodwill. “The school will assist adults over the age of 21 to earn high school degrees. A core piece of the program is to help individuals to gain workplace certifications that allow for higher wages and greater career opportunities. We are eager to help individuals earn their degree and continue our mission of ‘changing lives through the power of work’ through this program.”

Blane Keel has spent 30 years in public education in Missouri, most recently serving as Superintendent of Oran R-III School District. Keel received his bachelor’s degree in Biology and Teaching, master’s degree in Secondary Education Administration and his specialist degree in Education Administration, all from Southeast Missouri State University.

“This is one of the most exciting educational opportunities I have been a part of in my 30-year career in education,” said Keel. “The potential to change lives through education and work readiness is tremendous! I look forward to being part of this life changing endeavor.”

There are approximately 500,000 people in Missouri over 21 without a high school diploma. MERS Goodwill hopes that people take advantage of the Goodwill Excel Centers when they open. Educational services will be provided free of charge. Class times will be flexible to accommodate people’s work schedules, and each facility will have a drop-in child care center.  Those interested in applying can call 314-982-8802 or

An open house to celebrate the grand opening will take place the week of October 15. MERS Goodwill will also be opening Goodwill Excel Centers in the City of St. Louis and Springfield in October. The fourth Goodwill Excel Center, located in Columbia, MO, will open next year.

About MERS Goodwill

Celebrating 100 years, MERS Goodwill changes lives through the power of work. Its vision is a community where each individual has the opportunity to learn, work, and achieve their greatest potential. Annually serving more than 50,000 individuals, the non-profit agency operates in 75 locations serving 89 counties in the bi-state area. Revenues from 44 Goodwill stores 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