Goodwill Excel Center in St. Louis Set to Open October 22

New Adult High School Hires First Director and Begins Student Recruitment

ST. LOUIS (August 30, 2018) – MERS Goodwill announces the St. Louis location of the new Goodwill Excel Center will be in the Samuel Aftergut Rehabilitation Center located at 1727 Locust St. 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 Jadee Lauer, recently named as the new Director of the Goodwill Excel Center in St. Louis.

“Renovations of the Aftergut Center and headquarters are underway, and we are excited to have Jadee on board as we get set to open the St. Louis 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.”

Lauer has been in education for 25 years, 21 of which where dedicated to teaching various high school science courses. In addition, Lauer spent eight years in administration in the Hazelwood School District, and 10 years as a Master Teacher for Project Lead the Way.  As a Master Teacher, Lauer had the opportunity to teach adults at Missouri University of Science and Technology as well as other universities across the country

“I was drawn to the position at The Excel Center for several reasons, including my passion for working with adult learners, the model of focusing on students’ individual needs and the ability to eliminate barriers that might otherwise interfere with a student’s ability to attend school,” said Lauer. “The teachers, life coaches and I are so excited to open the doors to our brand-new school in October and begin this journey with the students.  Student success at The Excel Center is not only going to increase earning potential but change lives for the better. I am fortunate for the opportunity to be a part of this groundbreaking journey that will positively affect our St. Louis community.”

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 Poplar Bluff 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