Goodwill Southeast Georgia cut the ribbon Friday on a newly renovated store that’s undergone quite a few changes in the last several months.
“What we’ve done is taken an oversized back room, and we’ve invested close to $650,000 into the building itself to renovate it,” said Michael Winckler, president and CEO of Goodwill Southeast Georgia, speaking to a crowd of Goodwill administrative personnel. “Now we have a store, we have a much more accessible production area that is feeding both our store and a new outlet.”
Goodwill staff members were particularly excited about the outlet, which Winckler noted potentially offers greater savings than the already inexpensive second-hand store.
“If (an item) doesn’t sell in the store in a couple of weeks, it’s going to wind up next door in the outlet where you can pay a $1.39 a pound and go nuts,” Winckler said.
Along with the renovations to the store and the new outlet, Goodwill’s Brunswick location now also offers more workforce development resources. This pleased Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ralph Staffins III, who said the company has also recently stepped up its contribution to the chamber.
“Anytime you talk about $650,000 invested in your community, it’s a big deal,” Staffins said.
Cynthia Barnes, vice president of community engagement for Goodwill, said the company’s Job Connection program — which provided access to computers, résumé software, cover letter guidance and other equipment and services — has been upgraded to house what the company calls an Opportunity Center.
Here, locals can get all these things on top of support, education, training and employment programs and assistance.
“We want people to thrive in jobs that allow them to grow into living-wage jobs,” Barnes said. “That means people need better skills, up-skilling and they need, many of them, foundational skills.”
Goodwill also subsidizes certifications and offers training in basic competency skills.
The main store and outlet, located in the Village at Glynn Place, are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. The Opportunity Center is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and by appointment Wednesday through Fridays.