The Jim Moran Foundation awards Goodwill’s innovative A-STEP program a grant creating a pathway to education and job opportunities for area’s underserved

Thursday, August 25, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Jim Moran Foundation awarded Goodwill Industries of North Florida’s A-STEP (Academic Support Through the Employment Process) program a $35,000 grant to assist adults who are employed but living below the national poverty level with the support needed to attend a post-secondary institute. The goal is for each to earn a workforce certification or degree in an effort to increase income potential.

Currently, A-STEP works in collaboration with area social service agencies to support 30 candidates attending Florida State College at Jacksonville. Intensive case management is the key to the program’s early success. Many adults have reservations about returning to school, and with financial restrictions and family responsibilities, it is a goal that can feel out of reach.

Jan Moran, chairman and president of The Jim Moran Foundation, says, “In our first partnership with the Goodwill Industries of North Florida through its A-STEP program, we are able to reach those struggling to make ends meet and help them achieve self-sufficiency.” Leah Lynch, VP of Career Services for Goodwill says, “There is a smart, talented and underserved population in Jacksonville who did not have the opportunity to attend college upon high school graduation. With life experience behind them, they have found the determination and courage to change their lives but need support and guidance through the process.”

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A-STEP was established in 2014 through the revenue created by Goodwill Industries of North Florida’s Donated Good Retail stores. It’s designed to provide case management and support to adults who wish to change their lives through higher education.

Founded by automotive pioneer Jim Moran, the mission of The Jim Moran Foundation is to improve the quality of life for the youth and families of Florida through the support of innovative programs and opportunities that meet the ever-changing needs of the community. The Foundation has invested more than $65 million in education, elder care, family strengthening, and youth transitional living initiatives since its inception in 2000 with efforts currently focused in Broward, Palm Beach and Duval counties. Through a long-term Grant Agreement, The Foundation's significant funders are JM Family Enterprises, Inc., and its subsidiaries, including Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC. To learn more, visit or call (954) 429-2122.