This past Friday I attended the grand opening of a Goodwill Job Connection Career Centre, located in Sherwood Forest Mall.
Goodwill Industries, Ontario Great Lakes, is headquartered on Horton Street in London’s SoHo district. It includes 14 donation centres, 9 community stores, a recycling post-retail hub, two career centres and the corporate services centre.
Goodwill was founded in 1902 in Boston by a minister who started collecting household goods and clothing from wealthier pockets of the city, turned them over to employees he hired from the poorer districts to mend and repair the items and then they were sold or given to those in need.
More than a century later, Goodwill remains a force internationally. One of the statistics that jumped out at me at the opening was that the non-profit helps find someone a job every 30 seconds.
Certainly as the economy sputters along, a new career centre will be most welcome in London.
Here are some more interesting facts:
-One million people participate in Goodwill as donors, shoppers or volunteers.
-There are 50 counselors, trainers and job coaches working to help get people employed or re-trained.
-Goodwill is one of the largest operating charities in North America.
-Every regional Goodwill is governed by a board of directors and is a member of Goodwill Industries International.
Congratulations to all the local folks who helped get this centre opened before Christmas to give the unemployed some hope.
Sometimes, hope is all you need to take the first step to turning things around.