By Don Long
Goodwill Industries has reported that it plans to resume construction of its new Escondido retail store next month with the hope of moving to the new location in early April.
The property — at the intersection of West Washington and Escondido Blvd and formerly a Rite-Aid Pharmacy — was purchased in November of last year. Reconstruction and remodeling necessary for the move was begun but then halted by the pandemic in March.
Compared to the 7,113 sq. ft. square foot of space at the current building (506 W. Washington), the new location totals 16,000 sq. ft. It will include a Donation Center, retail store and Community Employment Center. The Employment Center will have 2,000 square feet of space and be provided with its own entrance.
Goodwill’s stores were forced to close on March 15, but all are now again open: retail stores, bookstore, outlets, Clearance Center and the online platform shopgoodwill.com.
As a result of the various personal restrictions created by COVID-19, store employment county-wide fell from 1,400 to 894, but with many now returning. Somewhat more than 47% of Goodwill employees are those with a disability or who have other barriers to employment.
“We are so happy to once again be living our mission of providing training and employment to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment,” said Fabia Parkinson, vice president of human services. “Many organizations in the county have not been able to re-employ their program participants. We are working diligently to have the means to expand our services and assist more people.”
Again, because of the pandemic Goodwill’s annual report for 2019 has been delayed. The previous annual report says that the San Diego County stores received 1,352,293 donations, with total operating revenue of $61,834,079.
The organization’s job opportunities are posted at sdgoodwill.org.