Goodwill associates, city officials and customers, some of whom lined up as early as 8 a.m., celebrated the official opening of Commerce Avenue Goodwill as it moved into its new location on Wednesday morning.
The brand new, 20,000 square foot not only offers extensive retail space for lightly used goods, but also a 4,400 square foot career center. The center will be fully open to the public and will include a number of helpful amenities, including free tax preparation for those earning $57,000 or less, community job fairs, mock interviews, resume builders and training on workforce skills and habits.
Dalia Diaz, director of education and training for Goodwill Industries of Southern Rivers, said Goodwill works with businesses throughout Troup County, including retail, restaurants and larger businesses like KIA. Georgia, to view available positions.
“We have training rooms and classrooms where we give lessons and workshops on how to conduct interviews or [put together] a resume,” Diaz said. “We have [a computer lab] and laptops here, and we walk people through the process of creating a resume and [applying for jobs.]”
All proceeds from the retail store portion will go directly to funding and supporting the Career Center.
LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton said at the groundbreaking that the area on which the new facility was built is incorporated as a “revitalization project” for the Commerce Avenue area. The facility area was built on the former location of the Playtex Mill Foundation, which had been demolished after it fell into disrepair, he said.
“Commercial Avenue [is] one of the commercial arteries of the city,” he said. “[Goodwill] has done so much work to just improve the physical appearance of Commerce Avenue. We appreciate the investment you have made.
Goodwill’s hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.