The 15,332-square-foot concrete block building is currently under construction next to Pet Supplies Plus in the Carrollton Crossroads shopping center on Highway 27 South. The location was once the site of the old Walmart garden and auto center. The general contractor for the project is Halpern Enterprises of Atlanta.
Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers, Inc., Columbus, Ga., is already accepting online job applications for the new store at www.gwisr.org.
The Carrollton North store, 108 Park Place Way, near Kmart on Bankhead Highway, will remain open.
“The Carrollton South store will feature a 1,500-square-foot career center for Goodwill’s mission services,” said Yolanda Stephen, Goodwill communications manager. “The career center will house computers, where people in the community can use them for free. It will also contain meeting rooms for job fairs and interviews, along with training rooms for courses, such as interview preparation and budgeting.”
A March 14 public ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for the new store. Details of the ceremony will be announced as the event nears. she said.
“We’ve already hired a career center manager to begin building relationships in the community, so when the center opens in March, we’ll be ready to start helping connect people with jobs,” Stephen said.
Anyone wishing to donate their “gently used goods” can begin donating them now at the new location.
“We have a drop off box now in the parking lot,” Stephen said. “The new store will have a drive through service for our donors’ convenience.”
Goodwill of Souther Rivers recently opened two other centers in Georgia — a Valdosta training center on Oct. 25 and a Columbus retail store on Dec. 6.
In addition to the March 14 Carrollton opening, new stores are scheduled to open in Columbus on April 18; Newnan, May 23; and Phenix City, Ala., June 27.
“We’re excited about creating 150 new jobs, while expanding mission services in so many communities,” Jane P. Nichols, president/CEO of Goodwill Industries Southern Rivers (GWISR), said in a press release. “With the rise of unemployment, our career and financial services, workforce training and skills development opportunities are needed now, more than ever. The communities’ ongoing partnerships and generous donations, that are sold in our retail stores, have made this possible.”
From 2003 to 2011, GWISR increased the number of people served by 1,928 percent, from 417 to 26,447 annually. People earning a job grew 2,046 percent, from 165 to 3,540, and the number of locations providing service grew from three to seven.
GWISR funds programs that provide opportunities for people to find jobs, including people with disabilities, those lacking education or job experience and others who face challenges in finding employment. These programs are funded by the sales at the nine GWISR retail centers.
GWISR is one of 165 independent community-based Goodwill nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and Canada. It is headquartered in Columbus, Ga., and serves 50 counties in West Georgia and East Alabama.
Goodwill Industries is one of the nation’s top five most valuable and recognized nonprofit brands, as well as a leading social service enterprise.
Goodwill sells donated clothing and other household items in more than 2,700 stores and online at www.shopgoodwill.com. The company uses the revenue earned from the sales to fund job training, employment placement services and other community programs. Last year, more than 79 million people in the United State and Canada donated to Goodwill.
In 2011, Goodwill served 4.2 million people through employment and training programs and helped 189,000 people find jobs. It had retail sales of $2.59 billion and spent 82 percent of its revenue directly on its programs.
Through its business model of collecting and selling used goods, it helps communities re-purpose usable items in environmentally sound ways, preventing them from piling up in local landfills.
Goodwill was founded in 1902 in Boston, Mass., by the Rev. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister. He began by collecting household goods and clothing in the wealthier parts of Boston. He hired and trained poor people to mend and repair the goods. The items were then sold or were given to the people who repaired them. The system worked and it started the Goodwill philosophy of “a hand up, not a hand out.”
In 2002, during Goodwill’s centennial celebration, a bronze medallion in Helm’s honor was added to “The Extra Mile -- Points of Light Volunteer Pathway in Washington, D.C. It’s the only national monument that honors individuals who selflessly championed causes to help others realize a better America.
Goodwill Industries Southern Rivers asks for community support by:
• cleaning out closets and garages for donations, and telling friends to do the same;
• inviting Goodwill speakers to community groups and churches to tell the Goodwill story;
• asking people to apply for employment through Goodwill at its website, www.gwisr.org;
• using the Goodwill career center free services, whether looking for employment or as an employer looking for employees.