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New GoodWork Staffing Location Opens in Rock Hill

October 5, 2015
Rob Youngblood, York County Regional Chamber President (left), addresses the crowd gathered for the grand opening of the GoodWorks Staffing location in Rock Hill, SC, along with Carol Ashby, Dir. of GoodWork Staffing (center), and Robin Carson, Senior VP of Goodwill Industries.

Rob Youngblood, York County Regional Chamber of Commerce President (left); Carol Ashby, Director of GoodWork Staffing (center); and Robin Carson, Senior VP of Employment Services at Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont (right).

Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont was proud to unveil on Thursday our new GoodWork Staffing location in Rock Hill, S.C., located at 566 N. Anderson Road. The ceremonial ribbon cutting marked the fourth location for our award-winning nonprofit staffing division that supports Goodwill’s mission of changing lives through the power of work. Attendees included Goodwill executives and members of the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce, including Chamber President Rob Youngblood, who delivered remarks at the event.

Goodwill’s mission is more than getting people a job, it’s about helping to secure family sustaining employment so that individuals can build a foundation for the future. This vision comes to life as GoodWork Staffing carefully matches clients seeking meaningful employment with careers in the fields of light industrial, administrative, clerical, customer service and management.

GoodWork Staffing offers a variety of services for business clients including temporary, temp-to-hire, direct hire, outsourcing, executive recruiting, on-site management and payroll services. Proceeds from the revenue generated by GoodWork Staffing fund Goodwill’s job training and employment services free of charge for individuals in the community.

“We are so proud of the current relationships we’ve built throughout this community by having a retail presence here and delighted to deepen our relationships in York County with the location of this new enterprise,” said Robin Carson, Senior Vice President of Employment Services at Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. “With the opening of this new location in Rock Hill, GoodWork Staffing projects to place 500,000 paid hours of work in 2015.”


Left to Right: Robin Carson, SVP of Employment Services; LaRita Barber, SVP of Community Engagement; Michael Elder, President & CEO; Barbara Maida-Stolle, EVP of Business Enterprises; Chris Jackson, EVP of Workforce Services & Organizational Development.

As the business continues to grow and expand, GoodWork Staffing recently won a recognition award from Goodwill Industries International in the category of Business Services/Contracts Excellence: Growing the Business/Total Growth, and was recently ranked by the Charlotte Business Journal as the 15th largest temporary staffing company in Charlotte.

“We are excited to be able to serve the York County community and look forward to developing partnerships with local businesses and industries,” said Carol Ashby, Director of GoodWork Staffing. “Working together, we will begin alleviating the challenges faced by so many individuals in poverty as they find new opportunities for employment.”

GoodWork Staffing in Rock Hill is located at 566 N. Anderson Road, Rock Hill, S.C. 29730. The location is open Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit or call (803) 620-3804. For more information about our programs and services at Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, visit

Build Your Own Garden Fountain

September 17, 2015

DIY Garden Fountain 1 (2)By Kilby Watson, Community Engagement Manager at Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont.

If you love outdoor spaces like I do, you may visit home improvement retail stores and always stop to look at their outdoor fountains. I do the same. Usually they are small, shallow or too big and too expensive for my budget. Inspired by seeing how others have used small pots like this to create a fountain, I decided to create one with large pots.

First, I began shopping for just the right sized pots. I liked choosing two different styles and putting one as the base of the fountain. Next, I needed paint to protect it and seal it. Below are the products that were recommended to me. I bought two of each.

DIY Garden Fountain 2 (2)

After washing the pots down and letting them dry thoroughly, I began to paint. First, I focused on the outside of each. Then I sealed the inside of the top pot with the Flexible Rubber Coating.

DIY Garden Fountain 3

Once the pots are dry, it’s time to put into place. I really wanted the focal point in our front yard, but this could have been just as easy to place in the back. Once adjusted to the right position and as level as possible, it’s time to fill with water to test out whether the seal is complete. If not, it has to be emptied, allowed time to dry and be re-coated with the sealant until it doesn’t leak.

If it works, choose the pump you like best that fits the pot and if desired – lights! I chose a fountain that could easily be adjusted for height and spray. I also wanted lights that could change colors.

DIY Garden Fountain 6This project is really easy and takes only about two days due to letting the paint dry. I completed it in one weekend and so could you! The fountain pump and lighting cords simply drape over the back and plug into our outside outlet. The best part is sitting on our bench and hearing the relaxing sounds of the water. We just put a few water plants inside the fountain as well to hide the cords. Check out your local Goodwill retail store for pots and create your own Zen space!DIY Garden Fountain 7

Success Story: Jordon

September 15, 2015

FDSC_0213 (2)or many qualified job seekers, finding the right employers to get in front of and having the confidence to portray their qualifications in an interview can be a barrier to finding employment.

Jordon – having earned his Eagle Scout, high school diploma, and a college certificate – had the qualifications to get the jobs he applied for, but lacked the confidence and interview skills needed to articulate his qualifications. These interpersonal hurdles prevented Jordon from getting job offers.

Jordon was referred to Goodwill from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services for job coaching and interview preparation. He was assigned to David Washam, Vocational Coaching Specialist at Goodwill, who helped build his confidence during job interviews.

“I’ve never been comfortable speaking in front of groups of people,” Jordon said.

David was also able to connect Jordon with the right employers, something that Jordon struggled with doing on his own.

“Goodwill helped get me in front of the right people and helped me gain confidence in myself,” Jordon said.

Their efforts soon paid off. With Jordon’s newfound self-confidence and David’s employer connections, Jordon was hired at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte as a part-time crew member in November 2013. About nine months later, Jordon was told during a staff meeting that his company was looking to hire someone to fill a full-time maintenance technician position that had recently become available.

This was Jordon’s dream job, and he knew he had to apply for the position. He met with David to review the job requirements and practice his interview skills. He was nervous for the interview, but knew that his time at Goodwill had prepared him well. His hard work and determination paid off, and in August 2014, Jordon was hired as a full-time maintenance technician, a position he still holds today.

Jordon is grateful to Goodwill for helping him solidify the career of his dreams.

“I still think I’m in a dream. It’s not every day you get to move race cars and see NASCAR drivers. It’s a really neat job,” Jordon said.

And Jordon knows that if he ever needs help again, he always has a place in which to turn.

“Goodwill has made a big impact on my life. I’ve had other friends of mine that have gotten help from Goodwill who just needed an extra hand. I know that if 10 years, 15 years from now I need to look for another job, I could come back and ask for help,” he said. “But I think I’m set. I’ll be pushing these race cars until I’m 67 years old.”

Goodwill Announces New Campus Nonprofit Partners

September 14, 2015

Darren Ash (Common Wealth Charlotte), Caroline Chambre Hammock (Charlotte Community Health Clinic), Susan Coughlin (Charlotte Metro Credit Union), John A. Tate III (The Center for Community Transitions) and Michael Elder (Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont).

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 Mayor Dan Clodfelter speaks to the audience.

“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 to learn more or to donate.


Darren Ash (Common Wealth Charlotte), Caroline Chambre Hammock (Charlotte Community Health Clinic), Michael Elder and Chris Jackson (Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont), Susan Coughlin (Charlotte Metro Credit Union) and John A. Tate III (The Center for Community Transitions).

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

Donate to Goodwill on International Day of Charity

September 5, 2015
International Day of Charity Logo

Source: United Nations

“On this International Day of Charity, the United Nations invites all…to commemorate the Day in an appropriate manner, by encouraging charity, including through education and public awareness-raising activities.” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call-to-action is heard by Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont on International Day of Charity today.

Over the course of its history, Goodwill has adopted a global perspective on environmental sustainability to reduce the carbon footprint on our planet by seeking to educate the community on how donating to Goodwill diverts unwanted items from landfills. Goodwill encourages recycling of items such as clothing, household items, furniture, books, toys, electronics and more by donating locally and giving these items a “second life.”

goodwill-Recycling-logo-300One of the largest forms of waste in our country is electronic waste, also known as e-waste. Many are unaware that computers are not permitted in county landfills due to hazardous materials in the composition. When you donate electronics, Goodwill employs a safe and environmentally responsible process to destroy personal data and recycle these pieces. In 2014, Goodwill’s recycling program diverted 2.2 million pounds of e-waste from local landfills.

Items that are in good working condition are refurbished by trained technicians and re-sold at The GRID: Powered by Goodwill, where proceeds from the sale of donated items fund our job training and employment services free of charge for individuals in the community. This recycling program is just one example of how your support of Goodwill helps to support the community and our vision to provide family sustaining employment to any persons who walk through our doors. All programs at Goodwill support our mission of Changing lives through the power of work.

Play a role in the International Day of Charity this weekend and donate your unwanted items to any Goodwill retail store or donation site. When you donate to Goodwill, you help divert waste from local landfills while creating opportunities for people in our region to find employment to support their families. Every success story starts with your donation.

Goodwill is a Resource for Job Seekers Around Labor Day

September 4, 2015

Cassandra, a client who found employment through Goodwill’s services.

With unemployment rates hovering at 5.8% in North Carolina and 6.6% in South Carolina, individuals in the region are still in need of work. Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont provides job training and employment services for individuals facing barriers to employment such as lack of skills, experience or education, criminal backgrounds and more. Services are free of charge, as proceeds from donations and purchases at Goodwill retail stores fund these programs.

Goodwill celebrates the American worker and this Labor Day reminds those in need of employment to visit any of our four job resource centers in Charlotte, Concord, Gastonia and Lincolnton. As the region’s largest private provider of training services for people with barriers to employment, Goodwill’s mission is to change lives through the power of work.

“We have resources available at Goodwill to help you no matter what your career path may be,” said Dana McDonald, Ph.D., Director of Goodwill University. “Last year, Goodwill put an average of 20 people to work each week in our community.”

Programs and services available to job seekers include:

  • For those in need of additional training, Goodwill offers Occupational Skills Training programs, seven- and eight-week-long courses for careers in the industries of:
    • Banking & Customer Service – certifications include Working Smart and the Career Readiness Certificate.
    • Construction Skills – certifications include OSHA-10, NCCER and forklift.
    • Hospitality & Tourism – certifications include ServSafe®Food and ServSafe®Alcohol.
  • For those in need of brushing up on job preparedness skills, Goodwill offers résumé building, mock interviews, computer courses and career coaching.
  • For those seeking temp-to-hire or direct employment, GoodWork Staffing, a division of Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, places individuals in jobs in a variety of industries.

Homelessness can be a crippling barrier to employment in which an individual may be in a constant state of transition and lacking a valid address for job applications. For Cassandra, a formerly homeless single mother of two and client of GoodWork Staffing, not having a plan for herself and her children was scary, but she found the help she needed at Goodwill.

“At Goodwill, I not only received employment training, but I was quickly placed in a job where I felt valued, appreciated and able to support my family,” said Cassandra. Through a temp-to-hire placement with GoodWork Staffing, she is now employed full-time in a Mecklenburg County government office. Read more about Cassandra’s success story and watch her video here.

Labor Day 2015 Promotion Boosted Post GraphicAs the Labor Day holiday weekend approaches, members of the community can celebrate the American worker with Goodwill by donating clothing, electronics, housewares, furniture and more to receive a “Spend $20, Get 20% Off” your purchase coupon. Donate to any of Goodwill’s 22 retail stores or 12 attended donation centers in the region during Labor Day weekend from Friday, September 4th – Monday, September 7th and receive a shopping coupon (not valid for purchases at the Goodwill Outlet store or The GRID: Powered by Goodwill). Every bag of gently used clothing donated to Goodwill funds one hour of résumé building for someone in the community.

Purchases made at Goodwill retail stores support job training and employment services for unemployed and underemployed individuals like Cassandra as they upgrade their skills to enter the competitive workforce. Each week, 250 people access Goodwill’s 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

Success Story: Shontel

September 2, 2015

Shontel Wall Headshot EDITED CROPPED“I was already attending classes at Central Piedmont Community College when I decided to try Goodwill’s Career Leadership Academy for Youth (CLAY). A job coach at the college suggested joining CLAY to build leadership skills and gain confidence in communicating with others.

I consider myself a shy person and it’s not always easy for me to express myself around unfamiliar people. Because I moved around in foster care since the age of 12, I grew up with few stable resources to cultivate my academic potential.

As a college student, I was one of the oldest people in the CLAY program, but that didn’t mean that I didn’t have to work hard. During meetings, you have to be prepared to speak to the group about any topic at any time. With each session, I opened myself up to communicating with people of all ages in a professional and positive manner. CLAY helped me to be brave and confident in my abilities.

When it came time to finish my Associate’s degree, there was no question that I would pursue a four-year college degree. With the help of my mentor, I applied and was accepted to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to study social work.

My first weeks were a difficult transition. I cried a lot and leaned on my mentor for emotional support. She reminded me that I would need strength and poise if I were to be in a position of helping others. Gradually I built up my self-esteem and became a different, better version of myself.

Looking back on my first semester at UNCC, I know that having a mentor was important because resources were available at all times. For first-generation college students like me, it is a victory that I have come this far and the pressure to succeed is high.

With CLAY’s support, I’ve become an example of how where we come from does not determine our ability to excel in school and beyond.”


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