The opening of a new Goodwill store in South Tacoma means more than the addition of 25 to 30 new jobs – it means the organization’s job training and support services will reach even more people in need.
A grand opening ceremony took place June 6, and the community came out in droves to experience what Tacoma Goodwill President and CEO Terry Hayes calls its latest “fashion-forward” store. The store is focused more on creating a memorable shopping experience, offering high-end displays and well organized merchandise designed to feel like a department store, rather than a thrift shop. She stresses that customers will find the same low prices they have come to expect from traditional Goodwill locations. “It doesn’t have to be expensive to create a wonderful shopping experience,” she said, adding that employees are well trained in customer service. “Our employees are trained to give the customer all the attention they want and deserve, and they seem to appreciate that.”
All proceeds from Goodwill support job training for people with disabilities, but the organization is more than willing to provide its services for anyone in need of assistance. “Anyone who needs help getting back to work can come to Goodwill,” Hayes stressed.
For Goodwill employee Michelle Johannesen, being a stay-at-home mom for many years placed her in a less-than-desirable category for many employers when she wanted to join the work force once again. She lacked current job experience, making it even more difficult to find work in a competitive market. But thanks to Goodwill and its services, she was able to take part in on-the-job training as a cashier in one of its stores, and has been employed there for the past 12 years. “They gave me the training I needed, and I really enjoyed the team and everything they stand for,” she said.
The organization works with more than 800 employers and helps place its clients in positions that make the most sense for each person. This year alone, Goodwill will put more than 2,200 people back to work in the region.
The 25,000-square-foot South Tacoma store is the newest of 32 stores in southwest and central Washington, and offers departments for clothing, housewares, toys, furniture, books/media and more.
“This new opening represents exciting new employment and job training for residents in South Tacoma,” said Tacoma City Councilmember Joe Lonergan. “Goodwill has served this city very well.”
Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber President and CEO Tom Pierson estimates the additional jobs from this location alone will translate into more than $503,000. “Each new employee that comes off unemployment and other programs saves businesses and individual taxpayers about $13,000 per year,” he added.
The South Tacoma Goodwill is located at 8025 S. Hosmer St. For more information, visit http://www.tacomagoodwill.org.