Goodwill® Celebrates 50 Years in the Southern Piedmont

For Immediate Release
March 2015

Goodwill ® Celebrates 50 Years in the Southern Piedmont
Nonprofit is Region’s Largest Private Provider of Training Services for People with Barriers to Employment

CHARLOTTE , NC ( March 31 , 2015) – This year Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont celebrates its 50th anniversary. The organization first opened its doors in 1965 on Seventh St, between College St. and Tyron St. – in a building across from Spirit Square. Over the next 50 years Goodwill developed job training programs and offered employment services for individuals facing barriers to employment such as lack of skills, experience or education. During it s tenure in the region, Goodwill has served nearly 168,000 individuals and placed 31,000 people i n to jobs .

Goodwill has been motivated by its mission of “Changing Lives Through the Power of Work” and has been a resource to provide various employment and job training programs along with counseling, vocational assessment and paid work experience to j ob seekers. In the early years, t he organization forge d partnerships with leaders in the local business community . Together, they identified current and future employment needs in the Charlotte metro – region and formed business advisory councils that led to highly successful training programs for computer programmers, banking and call center employees, construction and positions in the hospitality industry for individuals with barriers to employment . “

Goodwill gave me an understanding of how to translate my collection of skills into opportunities. For me that means no glass ceiling, no closed doors, no down economy. A career is whatever I wish it to be. For me that ‘s pretty exciting,” said Shell Richardson, 2010 graduate of Goodwill’s Hospitality Training Program , currently running an events business and serving on Goodwill’s Board of Directors.

Beginning with just one store, Goodwill is now operating a $40 – plus million donated goods, retail business with 22 stores currently in operation , proceeds of which fuel the mission of Goodwill . From just 6 individuals placed in jobs in 1965 to more than 1,1 00 in 2014, Goodwill is now the region’s largest provider of training services for people with barriers to employment. The training programs that began in 1986 have more than 3 ,000 graduates with thriving careers in the technology sector, hospitality industry, construction and the field of banking.

“Having served as CEO for the past 38 years, it has been my privilege to see how Goodwill has continually re – invented itself to serve the needs of individuals with multiple barriers to employment,” said President & CEO Michael Elder. While the scale and scope of our services have grown dramatically during our 50 years in the region, so too have the needs of those who are working to gain economic stability and mobility. Our work is not done.”

With more than 150,500 individuals in Mecklenburg county living in poverty, or 15.5 percent of the population , Goodwill has a bold vision to change the trajectory of poverty and dependence in the area with the Goodwill Opportunity Campus, scheduled to open in 2016. Through the Goodwill Opportunity Campus, Goodwill’s strategic partners will be able to meet clients’ basic needs – including financial aid, legal services, food and nutrition, child drop – in center and health care. The facility will also help Goodwill to expand its services to provide long – term support for clients to help them continue to develop so they can earn a family – sustaining wage. Elder projects that in the first full year of operation the Campus will serve more than 10,400 individuals with multiple barriers to employment – a 2 3 percent increase from those presently served in the current Career Development Center on 2122 Freedom Dr .

The organization is celebrating this 50th milestone throughout 2015 by organizing 50 donation drives and offering anniversary themed retail promotions to its 22 retail store s throughout the year.

Goodwill’s Impact in the Region over the past 50 years:

  • Received more than 23 million donor visits
  • Sold an estimated 1 00 million pieces of clothing
  • Volunteers have dedicated more than 12,000 hours of service since the volunteer program began in 2002
  • Recycled nearly 11,000 tons of computer electronics while employing more than 400 individuals through E – waste and transitional work programs
  • Honored as Charlotte Regional Partnership’s 2014 Jerry Awards recipient
  • Recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work” by the Charlotte Business Journal in 2010 .

About Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont

Goodwill has been serving individuals and families in the Southern Piedmont region of North and South Carolina for 50 years. Goodwill operates 22 retail stores and has more than 50 donation sites in the region. Proceeds from the sale of donated goods fund job training and employment services for individuals facing barriers to employment such as lack of skills, experience or education. In 2014, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont provided employment services to more than 13,000 individuals. For more information, visit .

Media Contacts

Melinda Wilshire | Director, Marketing & Communications | Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont | Office: 704 – 916 – 1616 | E – Mail: | Facebook: GoodwillSP| Twitter: @GoodwillSP

Molly Thompson | PR & Social Media Manager | Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont | Office: 704 – 332 – 0262| E – Mail: |

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