It’s been almost two years since Goodwill Industries of Northern Arizona (GINA) merged with its sister to the south, the Phoenix-based Goodwill of Central Arizona. We wanted to check in to see how the nonprofit is continuing its unique mission of turning thrift store shopping into workforce development for thousands in our region.
In the two years since the merger, Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona has served more than 7,600 residents in northern Arizona, placing close to 2,000 in jobs. Some became employees of one of Goodwill’s thrift stores, but most were hired by local businesses after using one of the many services available at Goodwill.
The nonprofit’s business model uses funds raised from its retail and clearance outlets to finance no-cost career centers. These facilities conduct skills assessments, help job seekers with their resumes or interview skills, hold hiring fairs, and even provide on-the-job training.
Since the merger, Goodwill reopened career centers in half a dozen locations. It also opened new facilities in Payson and Showlow and relocated its Kingman store to convert it from a clearance outlet to a more traditional retail store.
“The merger of Goodwill of Northern Arizona and Goodwill of Central Arizona in 2017 has had a positive impact on northern Arizona communities by allowing us to reinstitute our mission services and help those most in need,” said David Hirsch, the former President and CEO of GINA who now serves as a special consultant for Goodwill’s operations in the northern part of the state. “We are excited for even more opportunities to bring additional services and growth into this region and continue to partner with the great local businesses and communities to ensure we are supporting their evolving needs.”
One of Goodwill’s newer services to help both those seeking employment and local businesses is digital skills training. The program, which was rolled out earlier this year in northern Arizona, goes beyond basic computer literacy by providing training in coding and IT help desk skills. It is designed to help job seekers find employment with higher, family-sustaining wages.
Goodwill has also taken its services online through MyCareerAdvisor.com, where job seekers can use its resume building system, connect with local hiring companies, get tips on preparing for an interview or connect directly with a career advisor through a chat function.
We wish Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona – and its more than 260 employees in our region – continued success as they expand locations and services for our local workforce.