Goodwill Announces New Campus Nonprofit Partners
On Thursday, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont announced the four nonprofit community partners that will have a full-time presence on the new Goodwill Opportunity Campus. The 18-acre site in west Charlotte, which houses the 160,000 square-foot Leon Levine Opportunity Center, will provide the most comprehensive collection of resources and opportunities for job training, job placement and job creation in the community. The announcement was made during an event at the new facility, currently under construction and scheduled to open in late spring 2016. Attendees included Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter and City Council member LaWana Mayfield.
Goodwill’s mission is more than finding people a job, it’s about helping to secure family sustaining employment so that individuals can build a foundation for the future. With more than 15% of the Mecklenburg County population struggling in poverty, and nearly one-third of those individuals without a high school diploma (Census Bureau, 2013), Goodwill seeks to eliminate barriers to employment such as lack of education, experience or skills, criminal backgrounds and more.
In order to change the trajectory of poverty in the region, we have brought together several local agency partners to help address client barriers in healthcare, banking, financial literacy, and transitional support services to help individuals in the community achieve stability and eventually gain a level of self-sufficiency. Working collaboratively with strategic partners located under one roof will enable us to provide the convenience of access to crucial services that will positively influence economic mobility.
Full-Time On-Site Partners Will Include:
- Charlotte Community Health Clinic to offer comprehensive medical care for low income and uninsured individuals.
- Common Wealth Charlotte to provide financial capability services to low-wage workers through financial education and tailored re-banking and loan products.
- Charlotte Metro Credit Union to provide financial services accessible to all, with specialty products for the unbanked and those needing a fresh start.
- The Center for Community Transitions to provide individuals with criminal backgrounds intense employment and transitions services to prepare them for employment.
“When someone comes to Goodwill looking for employment, we look at the whole person. These specific partners representing healthcare, financial and transitional services were handpicked to serve the needs of the people who seek Goodwill’s services,” said Michael Elder, President & CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont.
“Of the people Goodwill serves, 60% report having no primary care physician, 85% have a household income of less than $20,000 and 26% have a criminal record. The goal of having these partners with us at the Goodwill Opportunity Campus is to help the individuals we serve gain stability and overall wellbeing to be able to obtain, retain and ultimately achieve their specific goals of family sustaining employment,” said Elder.
Making the Goodwill Opportunity Campus a reality required an investment of $22 million. Goodwill committed $14 million of its own funds and embarked on a capital campaign to raise $8 million from the community. So far, $6.1 million has been raised to date, including a $1.2 million challenge grant from The Leon Levine Foundation and a $500,000 investment from Bank of America, with only $1.9 million remaining of the goal. You can visit www.goodwillopportunitycampus.org to learn more or to donate.
Proceeds from the sale of donations in Goodwill retail stores support job training and employment services for unemployed and underemployed individuals as they upgrade their skills to enter the competitive workforce. Each week, 250 people access our employment and basic needs resources. In 2014, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont provided employment services free of charge to more than 13,000 individuals thanks to donations from the community. For more information about Goodwill and our programs and services, visit www.goodwillsp.org.