PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Goodwill Industries of Columbia Willamette is becoming more relevant than ever — providing not only inexpensive clothing, housewares and other items in a down economy, but also job training to many hundreds of people looking to get into the workforce.
Goodwill is unique among retailers. The money they make goes into job skill training so when you shop here, you’re helping others. Plus, the store chain is following protocols to keep both employees and people who shop there safe.
Inbound donations made at Goodwill Stores are being sanitized or quarantined in some cases for up to three days before being allowed onto the retail floor. Masks are required of customers and employees inside, distancing rules are in effect and a limited number of people allowed in at once.
“I honestly think that whether you are a for-profit or a non-profit — when it comes to retail we’re stepping gingerly on the dance floor,” Dale Emanuel of Goodwill Industries said. “The music has changed the dance moves have changed, and we here at Goodwill are number one is taking care of our employees.”
With sales volumes off by more than 15% and a third of its staff still not working, Goodwill is striving to restore shopper confidence in its stores — to get the volumes back up to support the work of providing job skills and training to Goodwill workers.
“The only reason we sell anything and ask for your donation is to raise revenue for free job services,” Emanuel said. “During the Great Recession, we saw more shopping than we’ve ever seen in the history of Goodwill. We also saw more need for our free job services than ever in our history as well.”
Apparel is still number one seller, home furnishings and home athletic gear are also selling well. But, the top priority of Goodwill Industries is to give support those who need it most — all while staying safe.