Goodwill’s Licking / Knox branch opens new business services facility in Hebron. The building, located on O’Neill Drive, has been vacant for five years and will house the assembly contracts.
By opening this new building, Goodwill has created 25 jobs that will benefit people with disabilities in the community. The new employees will respond to demands for assembly and manufacturing jobs, with pay “well above minimum wage,” according to Lisa Baker, vice president of communications for Licking / Knox Goodwill Industries.
Among Goodwill’s initiatives, in addition to its retail stores, janitorial services and other goals, is its Career Services division, which Baker says is “really at the heart of our mission”.
“Our career counseling services work with state agencies to provide vocational rehabilitation for people with disabilities,” Baker said. “(We) basically work with them and find the perfect job for them, and help them find gainful employment.”
The new facility will provide easy access to jobs. The building is in a centralized location, which is useful as many employees depend on outside transportation of family members or caregivers. In addition, the work itself will provide an easy-going environment: employees will be able to sit comfortably while they carry out their tasks.
“Having this building allows us to do additional contracts that we were looking at as well as creating this comfortable working environment that people with disabilities really prefer, and I think everyone would,” Baker said.
She added: “It makes it easier for them to get there and it gives them their own space and (them) a sense of ownership of the work they do.”
Goodwill has a number of business initiatives, which aim to provide training and support services to people with disabilities. They have retail stores in Licking and Knox counties, and they run janitorial and security divisions. They also have an online auction website for items that might be hard to find in retail stores, and they are looking to expand their housing units to provide housing for veterans as well as their own employees. .
Donations to Goodwill ultimately serve to support these initiatives. The new business services building will provide more employment opportunities to those in need.
“We are so grateful for the support of the communities, our help in our retail stores and the donations we receive,” said Baker. “People come to us to do business and understand that we are responsible and enthusiastic about going out in the community.
“Creating jobs doesn’t just mean collecting and selling shirts. We can do almost anything with it that helps people reach out and find a job. “