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Goodwill breaks ground on new location and career center

With shovels in hand, Goodwill Southern Rivers broke ground to a new Goodwill Store and Career Center on Commerce Avenue. 

Goodwill acquired the property approximately 90 days ago and plans are for the store and center to open in February 2022. 

 “We’ve operated a retail store after some time just down the road,” said Goodwill President and CEO Jack Warden. “We recognize that, particularly in today’s economic climate, employers are looking for employees. We recognize the need to have a career center here.” 

The career center will help match employers and employees. Warden said they meet with employers and map out exactly what they are looking for. When it comes to job seekers, Goodwill makes a career map to find them the proper training and skills they will need to find a dream job. 

“We do all that at no charge and it is made possible by the donations of the goods that the sale at the Goodwill retail store,” Warden said. 

Once up and running, the current LaGrange Goodwill location will move everything into the new store and close. 

“This new location will be considerably larger,” Warden said. “We will be able to fit everything that is in the old store in our new location. Because it is planned to be much larger, we will also be able to sell more items and take in more.” 

Warden said during the ground breaking that the store will be approximately 20,000 square feet. 

This will be LaGrange’s first Goodwill Career Center. Warden added that the closest Goodwill Career Centers are located in Carrolton and Newnan. 

“There is a big need for it here in LaGrange and Troup County,” Warden said. “There’s a lot of employers here and there’s a lot of employees. We need to be able to make that match and that connection between them. People sometimes just need help, or sometimes somebody is working at an employer and the employer downsizes, and an employee finds themselves needing to find a new job.” 

Warden added that their main goal is to help employees find a job or help them to find a new career. 

“We don’t call it a job, we call it a career,” Warden said. “We want somebody to get into sustainable employment so they can provide for themselves.” 

The career center will accept any person who is looking to employ someone or find a new career. 

“We will accept anyone, even if they come off the street,” Warden said. “We want to make a change in someone’s lives and make a change in this community.” 

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