Biz X Was There – Goodwill Retail Store Grand Opening – Goodwill Essex-Kent-Lambton Is On To A Good Thing Since 1933
From the June 2018 issue of Biz X magazine.
The latest addition to Goodwill Industries’ local operations opens for business in June and provides more workforce development opportunities while at the same time creating new jobs.
The 35,000 sq. ft. donation centre and retail store officially opened its doors June 14 with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11145 Tecumseh Road East, near Banwell Road. Check out the line-up of shoppers just waiting to get inside to see all the bargains!
“The Windsor community has been very generous in donating to Goodwill and that put us in a strong position to open a new store and drop-off centre,” explains Kevin Smith, CEO of Goodwill Essex-Kent-Lambton (EKL). “One of our guiding principles is that when people donate, we create jobs not only in our own operations, but elsewhere through our workforce development and training programs.”
Smith adds that training programs are designed to reduce or eliminate barriers to employment for people seeking jobs in retail and customer service, as well as other sectors across the local workforce.
Goodwill also ran an intensive training program for its own staff hired for the new store. By opening a new store, Goodwill was able to create 35 full-time equivalent jobs in both donation processing and retail.
“They are hard jobs because you tend to be on your feet all day,” admits Smith. “But, it can be rewarding work for those who have had issues getting back into the workforce.”
Goodwill’s goal is to process 100 percent of its donations in a timely fashion and Smith estimates that more than 2,000 articles of clothing are hung on racks every single day throughout its local retail sites.
“We also turn everything over within 18 days and anything we cannot move, we send to our recycling centre in Chatham because our goal is that nothing ends up in a landfill,” he stresses.
Across Essex-Kent-Lambton, Goodwill has 18 sites including training and employment centres, attended donation sites, retail stores and bookstores.
The organization’s other retail store and donation centre in Windsor is located at 1643 McDougall Street at the intersection with Tecumseh Road East.
The opening of the new store coincides with the local organization’s 85th anniversary.
Goodwill Industries in Sarnia was established in 1933 as the Family Services Guild to supply food hampers to people in need. In 1959, the name was changed to include Goodwill Industries and a thrift store was opened for men and women who collected, cleaned, repaired and sold used clothing and household items.
In 1973, Goodwill was incorporated as a non-profit organization and became part of Goodwill Industries International.
There are now more than 300 employees in the tri-county organization in retail, training, workforce development, information technology and human resources.
“Our goal is to help people find their dream job whether it be with us or outside our organization,” Smith comments. “We do that by providing a safe and inclusive environment, which helps people with self-esteem issues and confidence.”
He adds, “We believe in changing people’s lives through the power of work. And our training and workforce development help prepare people to find employment.”
Smith informs Biz X that within the past year, the local organization has helped place 1,461 people into jobs.
Included in the new store is 18,000 sq. ft. of retail space as well as a donation processing area, training rooms, offices and washrooms.
For more information on the tri-county organization, visit: GoodwillEKL.com.
Photos by Rod Denis – Biz X magazine