SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — With nearly another 2.5 million Americans filing for jobless claims this week alone, you’d expect at least some people in our area might apply for 100 job openings at the local Goodwill Industries.
But that’s not the case.
And because of that worker shortage, most of the region’s Goodwill Industries stores are unable to reopen just yet.
Of the agency’s 10 stores in North Louisiana, there are only two open in Shreveport-Bossier City and another in West Monroe.
The rest are slowly reopening as they hire more employees.
Some people may not realize how important such stores are for struggling families or those on fixed incomes.
Goodwill Industries donor Randall White told us he knows how important this is for many families.
“It helps a lot. And for families that are on low incomes, you can get a lot of decent stuff for very inexpensive.”
There was so much of that stuff donated during the two months that one store was closed that it filled the store completely and people could barely move about.
Employees like Cindy Dick say she has her own theories on why a third of Goodwill’s labor force in the 26 North Louisiana parishes have not or will not return.
“I guess it’s because of the virus, I guess I don’t know. But I’m just glad I came back because I wanted to come back. I didn’t want to sit at home very long.”
David Tinkis, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana, told us the two-month shutdown likely will put the budget back a half million dollars or so.
And Tinkis explained that reopening stores is critical to again generate revenue to pay for job training and job placement for those needing a little help getting into the workforce.
“Essentially, we’re turning them into taxpayers. They participate in the economy. They are active in our community because of a job. A job provides independence.”
As for job seekers, Cindy Dick urges people to apply, saying it's good work, with good pay with good people. As for the toughest part of the job:
Cindy Dick: “It’s hard work, really is. Like, right now we got a lot of stuff here. But in the process it’s not that bad.”
Reporter: “So if you like hard work this is for you.”
Cindy Dick: "Yeah, it's for you."
Job openings range from store leads, basically assistant managers, to cashier and processing positions.
To apply, all you have to do is visit the Goodwill Industries website.