• 72°

Goodwill sets LaPlace opening for Aug. 2

LAPLACE — An 8:45 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony precedes the 9 a.m. grand opening of Goodwill of LaPlace on Aug. 2, marking the store’s return to St. John the Baptist Parish after an absence dating back to before Hurricane Katrina.

Located at 101 Carrollwood Drive, Goodwill provides a low-cost, quality shopping experience and a means to generate funds for community outreach.

Vice president of retail operations Tim Salvato said community response has been outstanding, with several people already stopping by to donate carloads of items while maintenance teams work to completely renovate the building.

The Goodwill Store in LaPlace is set to open next month at 101 Carrollwood Drive.

Beginning on Aug. 2, tax-deductible donations can be dropped off during business hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Prior to opening day, residents can drop off donations or pick up an employment application whenever someone is present at the store between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

“We’ve already hired about a dozen folks from the community, and we’re looking to hire five to 10 more,” Salvato said.

Tim Salvato is seen placing donations into the store’s collection box.

“Employing local people is one of many ways Goodwill adds value to a community. We provide a good, low-cost opportunity for shopping and we keep items out of landfills by repurposing and reselling. This isn’t your grandmother’s thrift store. I think people will be pleasantly surprised when they visit.”

Individuals and businesses with large furniture donations or leftover garage sale items can schedule a pick up time.

A selection of new items will also be available at the LaPlace location, he said.

For more information, call 504-456-2622.

Most people are familiar with Goodwill stores, but fewer know of the services provided for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

According to marketing and public relations director Sabrina Written, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana provided job training and services to nearly 3,000 people in 2017.

Besides clothes, the store will sell brand name bedding.

“Whenever people donate clothing and other items, it provides revenue for our training programs, job placement services and mentorship for people in the community,” Written said. “Populations that we work with include people with disabilities, kids aging out of foster care and those reintegrating into the community after they leave prison.”

Courses and certifications offered through Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana Training Centers include broadband (C-Tech), hospitality & tourism, Microsoft office technology and digital literacy.

Veterans housing programs are also available, according to Written, and a medical office assistant training program is soon to come.

Individuals with disabilities make up approximately 33 percent of the Goodwill workforce, she said. Training programs provide certifications allowing them to pursue careers in other industries.

Appliance sales will also be part of the store’s offering to customers.

Written said Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana and other Goodwill agencies are governed by local directors who tailor services to fit community needs.

LaPlace management is open to forming partnerships with area agencies, according to Salvato.

Visit goodwillno.org for information on employment, training opportunities and donation guidelines.