New Goodwill store opens, includes help center for job-seekers

IMPRESSIVE STRUCTURE — This new Goodwill store and Job Connection Center is at 1600 N. Woodland Blvd. on DeLand’s north side. It replaces a smaller, retail-only store about a quarter-mile south.

IMPRESSIVE STRUCTURE — This new Goodwill store and Job Connection Center is at 1600 N. Woodland Blvd. on DeLand’s north side. It replaces a smaller, retail-only store about a quarter-mile south.

BEACON PHOTOS/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

HELP FOR JOB-SEEKERS — The new Goodwill facility includes a Job Connection Center, where people can get job training and placement services for the first time in West Volusia at a Goodwill facility.

HELP FOR JOB-SEEKERS — The new Goodwill facility includes a Job Connection Center, where people can get job training and placement services for the first time in West Volusia at a Goodwill facility.

Goodwill Industries of Central Florida has opened a larger retail store and a Job Connection Center on the north side of DeLand — providing its job-training and placement services to West Volusia residents for the first time.

Located at 1600 N. Woodland Blvd., the 25,000-square-foot facility will provide assistance with career counseling, résumé-writing, interview skills, computer training and job placement. The center also will offer a resource library and a computer lab.

The new facility also will feature a more spacious retail store, replacing the current location at 1560 N. Woodland Blvd.

“We have a long history of loyal shopping in West Volusia, and we thought the public would support a larger store,” said Bill Oakley, CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, in an interview with The Beacon before the new store’s Nov. 9 ribbon-cutting and grand opening.

This location will be Goodwill’s 10th Job Connection Center in its six-county area, and its second in Volusia County, after a location opened in Daytona Beach in 2015. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 20 percent of the population in DeLand lives in poverty, nearly 5 percent higher than the county average.

“We thought we needed to offer Job Connection Services in West Volusia,” Oakley said. “It’s going to be good for people needing good jobs and employers wanting good employees.”

Goodwill’s Job Connection Centers are a vital resource for veterans, people with disabilities or anyone with barriers looking for a job, Oakley said, adding that the organization is looking forward to serving more residents in DeLand and West Volusia.

“We will have a Good Source Staffing Services office, targeted at the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless,” he said.

Goodwill also has a retail store in Orange City, but Oakley said there are no plans to add services for job-seekers at that location.

“The Orange City store pretty much reflects our current thinking — it’s a fairly large store, and people support it well,” he said. “There’s no Job Connection Center, but we feel the DeLand office is close enough. And there’s a center in Sanford.”

The new DeLand store and job center is providing about 35 full-time jobs among the store, the job center and donor services, which processes donations from the public more quickly than the old location did.

“We are delighted [with the new location],” Oakley said. “We think the new facility is wonderful and very inviting, and will serve DeLand and West Volusia for a long, long time.”

- Joe Crews, joe@beacononlinenews.com

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