Goodwill announces new initiatives, stores at Tuesday breakfast

Staff writerApril 29, 2014 

Restaurant owner Ronny Brown accepts Goodwill's Graduate of the Year Award at the group's Tuesday breakfast


Tacoma-based Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region rolled out an ambitious expansion program for the coming year at its annual breakfast Tuesday at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center.

Terry Hayes, Goodwill's president and chief executive, announced the non-profit organization will open three additional stores this year,  a boutique in Sumner, an outlet store in Lacey and a regular store in Eastern Washington.  The boutique will be Goodwill's third.  The Eastern Washington store will be its fourth east of the mountains.

Those new stores will provide jobs for 42 people, she said.

Hayes told some 650 breakfast goers Goodwill will expand its online presence by launching what it calls its Premiere Donor Initiative, a program seeking donations from friends of the organization of jewelry, art, musical instruments and items of significant value.

One donation of African art made to Goodwill's Point Townsend store sold online for enough money to train 15 people, said Hayes.

The organization is also ramping up its efforts begun last year to create zero waste, said the Goodwill CEO. Those efforts are aimed at finding new uses for donated items that don't sell in Goodwill's network of 34 stores.

The no-waste program is providing jobs for another 30 workers.

The Goodwill executive also announced four new or expanded programs:

* Operation Good Jobs.  Goodwill is expanding this program, funded in part by the Walmart Foundation, to reach more veterans transitioning to civilian life.

* High school re-engagment program. The organization is working with Tacoma Public Schools to get youth who have dropped out back into school.

* Goodwill is launching a new program with the state called Empower to Work to give parents and struggling families new tools to find and keep jobs.

* Expanding its regional partnerships with major employers to hire graduates from Goodwill training programs. 

The regional job training and employment group also presented several awards:

* Community Partner of the Year: Starbucks.

* Business Partner of the Year: World Vision.

* Graduate of the Year: Ronny Brown. Brown, a graduate of Goodwill's culinary skills training program, started his own restaurant, the Neighborhood Cafe, at The News Tribune.

* Achiever of the Year: Angelique Rooth. Rooth works for Goodwill Contracting Services at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord dining facility.

Michener Inspirational Award: AJ Archer.  Archer is a graduate of Goodwill's Youth Build construction training program.  He now works for Concrete Technology.



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