Columbia County is made up of generous people, and for that reason, Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA will open a new store in the county later this month.
This location for a new Goodwill Industries store on Washington Road, still under construction, is expected to be one of the biggest Goodwills in the region.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"The reason we have chosen to stay and have a permanent presence is to increase our capacity, serve more donors and employ more people," said Jim Stiff, CEO of Goodwill for the region. "Columbia County has been more generous than any of our 35 counties."
The Goodwill store in Columbia Square on Flowing Wells Road will be relocated to the new store being built on Washington Road. Last November, Andy Jones purchased the 16 acres of property that has the current Goodwill store. He plans to convert it to a car mall next year.
The current Goodwill store is offering "moving sale" prices through Dec. 28. The new Martinez store will open to customers at noon Dec. 28. A grand opening celebration is set for Jan. 16 at 9 a.m.
The new Goodwill store, which Stiff predicts will be one of the region's largest stores at 15,000 square feet, will include a drive-through donation center. The new store will be about 5,000 square feet larger than the Goodwill in Columbia Square.
"We tried to design the location to be attractive for shoppers, as well as donors," he said. "We also wanted to relocate the store to an area that was close in proximity to the current store. The new store will be within a recognizable stone's throw from our current store."
Stiff said the main obstacle he sees for the new location is traffic congestion.
"We will ask the Department of Transportation to put a light here," he said. "Our prayer is that the DOT would see the positive impact a light would have, not only on our mission, but also on all drivers on this street."
With the new store just off of Washington Road, Stiff hopes it will attract more donors and buyers. Stiff added that the hiring of new employees will be driven by donations and sales volume and the larger store will allow for more training positions.
"At Goodwill, we want to help people discover their God-given gifts through work," said Stiff. "The best way to help somebody discover their gift is by being a part of a workplace where they are mentored by other employees. The revenue generated (at our stores) underwrites jobs.
"We greatly appreciate the Columbia County community for its outstanding support in helping people discover their God-given talents," he said. "There's nothing better than the dignity of a paycheck."
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