SAVANNAH, GA – Goodwill Southeast Georgia celebrated Goodwill Industries Week with open house events at the Savannah and Brunswick Opportunity Centers on May 6 and 7. Nearly 20 workforce partners attended each event to tour the Opportunity Centers and learn about the future of Goodwill Southeast Georgia. Michael Winckler, President and CEO of Goodwill Southeast Georgia, shared details on how Goodwill is fulfilling its mission to change lives by helping people unlock new careers and opportunities.
“We’re about helping people in their educational attainment through the wraparound services provided at the Goodwill Opportunity Centers,” Winckler said. “Goodwill offers support and training to help individuals gain the skills and confidence to thrive in mid-wage, high-demand careers. Every individual is going to find their success differently, and whatever they are committed to, we are going to help them leave better than where they started.”
A highlight of the update included discussion about how a $5 million unsolicited and unrestricted donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott will be used. A majority of the donation will fund a 30,000 square foot addition at the Savannah location to handle donation management. The business operations from the donation centers help fund the career services that are provided. The remaining $2 million will be used to fund a 20,000 square foot adult education center. Goodwill is currently in talks with the Purpose Built Community representatives to possibly include the education center in the East Savannah Gateway Revitalization Development Project. Construction is expected to begin in late 2022.
“We believe that, strategically, operational excellence is the way for us to provide the most impact in the community, so we are deeply committed to training, best practices and benchmarking everything we do,” Winckler said. “We know we can’t do what we do alone so our second strategic pillar is to always be a collaborator, a communicator and a convener so that we can bring multiple organizations together in the work that we do to impact the community in a much more significant way.”
The Goodwill Opportunity Centers provide individual support, specialized training, employment services and other community-based programs to any individual seeking career services. In 2019, the organization trained more than 6,600 individuals and placed 1,300 into sustainable employment. Goodwill career specialists are now providing in-person services at the Opportunity Centers after an extended in-person closure due to COVID-19. The Savannah Opportunity Center is located at 7220 Sallie Mood Drive Savannah, GA 31406 and the Brunswick Opportunity Center 249 Village at Glynn Place, Brunswick, GA 31525.
To learn more about Goodwill services or register for upcoming trainings, visit www.goodwillsega.org.