Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont will build a $20 million, 160,000-square-foot Goodwill Opportunity Campus in Charlotte, North Carolina
. The 18-acre site located at Wilkinson Boulevard and Boyer Street will also accommodate a potential future 90,000-square-foot expansion. Goodwill hopes to break ground in the first quarter of 2015 and move in during the third quarter of 2016.
The Goodwill Opportunity Campus will combine seven different properties into one central campus. The project will create 125 new jobs over the next three to five years throughout the organization’s 18-county territory, 105 of which will be in Mecklenburg County. An additional 130 jobs will be created systemwide in years five through 10. Positions will include retail associates, retail management, administrative and clerical employees, career development coaches and instructional staff.
The new facility will provide added space for partner agencies, a job resource center, employment training and career advancement services, a child drop-in center, conference and community meeting space, a credit union branch, two Goodwill retail stores, a drive-through drop-off, a café and catering kitchen, and corporate offices.
“The Goodwill Opportunity Campus is a unique approach to address the issues of poverty and dependence in our community,” said Michael Elder, President/CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. “Through our continued work in the community, we know that it takes more than providing disadvantaged job seekers with job skills and training — we have to also provide them with services to help overcome the barriers they face that keep them in the cycle of unemployment and underemployment. We project that in the first full year of operation, the Goodwill Opportunity Campus will serve more than 10,400 individuals with multiple barriers to employment.”
Goodwill has committed $12 million of its own money and announced an additional $4.5 million in commitments, including $500,000 from Bank of America. The remaining $3.5 million will be raised through the Goodwill capital campaign, for which the Leon Levine Foundation has offered a $1.2 million challenge grant.
“Today’s announcement is a testament to what makes Charlotte unique,” said Bob Morgan, Charlotte Chamber President/CEO. “Without the philanthropic and business communities’ support, this incredibly important economic development project would not be possible. It is because of partnerships like this that Charlotte is deemed as among the best places in the U.S. to live and work.”