New Goodwill brings more than discounts

By Brittany Pieper – email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) –When most people think about Goodwill they think about the store where you can buy and donate goods.  However, right next door at the New Goodwill campus off of Burt Kouns, stands a part of the program that has a lasting impact on employees lives.

The store will hold it's grand opening at 9 a.m. Thursday morning. Along with the new location comes 47 new jobs to the Ark-La-Tex. About half of them go to people with disabilities, and many who have had trouble finding work.

"It was hard. Some people would turn you down. You know, you may not be good enough to get a job with them, but with Goodwill, it's always accepting," said new employee Rickell Dickey.

"They're people who have tried to do the best they know how to, but they perhaps need a little extra help getting and keeping that job," said Goodwill VP of Resource Development, Jessie Schmidt.

Dickey says having a job will greatly improve her life, "Help me take care of my son that I have now. It's gonna give me great experience that they train me to do better things."

The new Goodwill campus has more than the store where Dickey works.  Right next door is a job center. It will help people in the community find employment and offer literacy and GED classes free of charge.

It's also one of six Goodwill campuses in the country who received federal grant money to train workers to go into the medical field. Goodwill has partnered with Willis Knighton and LSUHSC to train workers, free of charge, for high demand entry level jobs like x-ray techs. They hope this will help move people from minimum wage jobs to higher paying careers in an effort to break the cycle of poverty.

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