Goodwill® Opportunity Campus Opens for Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, June 27, 2016

Goodwill® Opportunity Campus Opens for Services
New campus aims to increase economic mobility and change trajectory of poverty

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 27, 2016) – Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont’s new Goodwill Opportunity Campus will open for services to clients this week on Thursday, June 30 beginning at 8:30 a.m. Located at 5301 Wilkinson Boulevard in west Charlotte and featuring the 160,000 square foot Leon Levine Opportunity Center, the campus will provide the most comprehensive collection of resources and opportunities for job training, job placement and job creation in the Charlotte metro region for individuals with barriers to employment.

Goodwill provides job training and employment services free of charge to individuals in the community facing barriers to employment such as lack of skills, experience or education and criminal backgrounds. With more than 15 percent of county residents struggling in poverty, Goodwill announced its plan to change the trajectory of poverty in the region in August 2014 with the construction of the new Goodwill Opportunity Campus.

When a 2014 Harvard University study ranked Charlotte as 50th out of 50 large cities in the country for economic mobility, the Goodwill Opportunity Campus was on its way to becoming a reality. Goodwill invested $14 million of its own funds and embarked on a capital campaign to raise an additional $8 million from the community, an amount currently nearing the end of its goal. Generous leadership gifts included The Leon Levine Foundation, Howard R. Levine, Eric and Lori Sklut, Bank of America and United Way of Central Carolinas.

In addition to Goodwill’s current service offerings, the Goodwill Opportunity Campus brings together community partner agencies with a full-time on-site presence to provide wraparound services for clients under one roof, including Charlotte Metro Credit Union, Charlotte Community Health Clinic – West, Common Wealth Charlotte and The Center for Community Transitions. By addressing client barriers in healthcare, banking, financial literacy and transitional support services for individuals with criminal backgrounds, Goodwill and its on-site partner agencies are working together to help clients achieve stability and eventually gain a level of self-sufficiency to achieve family sustaining employment.

Goodwill projects that in the first year of operation, the new Goodwill Opportunity Campus will serve an additional 3,000 individuals, an increase of more than 40 percent over the number of clients served annually at its former Career Development Center on Freedom Drive. Goodwill plans to help clients achieve its vision of family sustaining employment and positively influence economic mobility through the following three key areas of focus:

  • Job Training:
    • Multi-Week Job Skills Training Courses: In 2015, Goodwill conducted comprehensive training course refreshes and redesigns in several main areas in its efforts to remain current with varying employment industry trends and provide increased opportunities for clients to succeed in the marketplace.
      • Current multi-week job training course offerings include:
        • Customer, Administrative & Business Services (NEW)
        • Hospitality & Tourism (REDESIGNED)
        • Construction Skills I: Beginner & II: Intermediate (NEW)
        • Forklift & OSHA-10
      • School of Retail: All new incoming team members hired for employment in Goodwill retail stores are enrolled in the three-day School of Retail or School of Retail Management training, where they learn retail operations including point of sale software, pricing, merchandising, inventory control, customer service and de-escalation tactics.
      • Community Table Bistro: Goodwill’s new restaurant and food service training division at the Goodwill Opportunity Campus will provide opportunities for several months of hands-on job training where clients learn and develop skills to secure employment in the in-demand industry of hospitality and tourism, including restaurants and hotels.
  • Job Placement:
    • GoodWork Staffing: Goodwill’s full-service nonprofit staffing division placed 1,600 clients on assignments logging more than 500,000 on-the-job hours in temporary and temp-to-hire positions in the region in 2015. GoodWork Staffing boasts four local office locations in Charlotte, Gastonia and Concord, including an expansion into South Carolina with the addition of its new Rock Hill office in October 2015.
  • Job Creation:
    • New Jobs: Goodwill and its on-site community partner agencies have created nearly 30 new jobs in the Wilkinson Boulevard corridor of west Charlotte through the opening of the Goodwill Opportunity Campus, with plans to add several additional positions in the coming months.

“We could not be more thrilled to see the Goodwill Opportunity Campus come to life after what started as a bold vision and dream of ours more than five years ago,” said Michael Elder, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. “This new home allows us to significantly expand our services – including the addition of vital partner agencies – to provide greater opportunities for our clients and their families to break the cycle of poverty.”

Client services at the Goodwill Opportunity Campus are available Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Community Table Bistro is open Monday – Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. serving breakfast and lunch. The retail stores GW and Second Editions: A Goodwill Outlet Store are open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Proceeds from the sale of donations in Goodwill retail stores fund the nonprofit’s mission of providing job training and employment services free of charge to individuals with barriers to employment such as lack of skills, experience or education and criminal backgrounds. Each week, 230 people access Goodwill’s employment and basic needs resources. In 2015, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont provided employment services to 12,000 individuals and placed 1,500 job seekers in local jobs throughout the region. For more information about Goodwill and its programs, visit www.goodwillsp.org.

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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 more than 50 years. Goodwill operates 24 retail stores and has more than 45 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 and criminal backgrounds. In 2015, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont provided employment services to 12,000 individuals and placed 1,500 job seekers in local jobs throughout the region thanks to donations and purchases from the community. For more information, visit www.goodwillsp.org.

Media Contacts

Molly Thompson | PR & Social Media Manager | Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont | Phone: (704) 332-0262 | Email: molly.thompson@goodwillsp.org

Melinda Wilshire | Director, Marketing & Communications | Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont | Phone: (704) 916-1616 | Email: melinda.wilshire@goodwillsp.org

Facebook.com/GoodwillSP | Twitter: @GoodwillSP | Instagram: @GoodwillSP

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