The Helms Academy



What is The Helms Academy?

The Helms Academy is an innovative partnership of Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies and the Pennsylvania Highlands Community College that provides a no-cost community-based educational option for adults with barriers to education to earn college credits.

The Helms Academy is named for Edgar James Helms (1863–1942), a Methodist minister in Boston and early social innovator who is credited as the founder of the movement in 1902 that would grow into Goodwill Industries.

The Helms Academy provides adult general education development, work-readiness, job development and placement, and wrap-around services resulting in a high school equivalency credential, dual-earned college credits, and access to financial aid for further education and employment.

An individual who completes 30 semester hours of study at a U.S. accredited institution of postsecondary education will earn a high school equivalency credential.


Instruction is provided at the Goodwill Career Center located at Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies’ Headquarters at 540 Central Avenue in the Moxham section of Johnstown.

Upcoming Course: September 18 – December 13, 2018

CIT 100 – Microcomputer Applications (3 Credits)

Tuesdays & Thursdays | 4:00–5:35 PM
The Goodwill Career Center, 540 Central Avenue (Moxham), Johnstown, PA 15902

Additional Supportive Services

The following services are also provided at no cost:

  • Study skills assistance
  • Individualized academic skills training
  • Computer lab use
  • Career exploration and counseling
  • College admission guidance and counseling
  • Résumé preparation
  • Vocational job training referrals
  • Job search and placement assistance
  • Connection to community resources
  • Other various support services
Application Process

Applicants will participate in an intensive intake that consists of assessments, career counseling, and the provision of pertinent labor market information, especially the requirements and wages of high-priority occupations in our region. Assessment results (reading/math levels, barriers-to-success inventory, interviewing, and career interest surveys) guide the individual’s service strategy plan. All students will be provided with a life coach who will guide and connect them to community resources such as transportation and child care. In addition, the following programs and services will be made available to students in The Helms Academy at no cost to the students: college-readiness, assessment, basic skills instruction, tutoring, life coaching, computer-based instruction, college credit courses, flexibility, career exploration and preparation, job development and placement, and college counseling.

Individuals who test at less than a fourth grade level will be provided with trained literacy tutors. Individuals at the fourth to eighth grade level will be provided with adult basic education/remediation and high school diploma granting program as needed. Individuals at an eighth grade level will be considered for Penn Highlands classes.

Complete and Submit an Application

You may complete the application electronically or print it and complete by hand.

Options for Submitting an Application:

If submitting by e-mail, “Save As” your file with your first and last name. E-mail to

If mailing or delivering in person, or you want to pick up an application, see the address below.

Click here for The Helms Academy Application

Goodwill of The Southern Alleghenies
The Helms Academy
540 Central Avenue
Johnstown, PA 15902

For more information, contact:

Amy Horwath, Vice-President of Mission Services at or (814) 536,3536, ext. 287.

Jennifer Galiote, Career and Employer Services Professional at or (814) 536-3536, ext. 243.

Online Shopping at Goodwill

Through the Shopgoodwill online auction site, you can experience a fun and exciting way to shop for specialty items such as one-of-a-kinds, collectibles, antiques, estate pieces, jewelry, nostalgic items, and more!

At Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies, we know that our donors value their donations to Goodwill and want us to get the maximum value possible to support our mission. Listing these items on Shopgoodwill allows us to generate more revenue because these items go to the highest bidders who know the values of the items.

Donors can be sure that the revenue generated from the sale of their donated items on will support job training and employment services for people in their community – just as it does through purchases made in our 10 Goodwill Retail Stores.