The Linux Foundation's latest training program aims to bring open source software expertise to a new demographic -- people who are homeless, under-educated, single parents, have a criminal background or are disabled.

On Thursday the Linux Foundation, which promotes Linux and other open source software, announced that it will offer two of its training courses for free to students at the Goodwill Excel Center in central Texas. The Center is a public charter school for adults, serving individuals who faced difficulties such as homelessness or criminal pasts.

The courses offered include Introduction to Linux and Essentials of System Administration. The Linux Foundation normally charges for its traditional training courses (although a MOOC version of Introduction to Linux is available via edX for free).

The partnership with Goodwill will expand open source expertise among a new group of people. That's good both for open source and for people who can benefit from skills in open source administration, which are in demand among employers, according to the organization.

"Goodwill provides quality education to individuals who could not otherwise access it. By donating Linux and open source learning materials, we hope to provide access to individuals for some of the most lucrative careers in the world," said Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin. "This new program should help grow the Linux and open source talent pool, while providing hundreds of people with stable and rewarding employment to support themselves and their families."

Georges Danton, the French revolutionary, famously said, "After bread, education is the first need of the people." If he had lived two centuries and a little more later, perhaps he would have qualified that statement by mentioning education in open source software in particular.