Over 50 people stood in line at around 8:30 a.m. Thursday waiting to be the first to shop at a brand new Goodwill store in Fayetteville.
By 9 a.m., another 50 city officials, Chamber representatives and even some Goodwill employees who weren’t even scheduled to work on opening day filled the entryway to the new store for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“We’re in line, we’re ready to recycle and we’re ready to shop,” said Arkansas state Rep. Uvalde Lindsey. “Donate, shop, change a life,” he said while reading from the shirt of a Goodwill employee. “That’s what this store is doing and will do for all of us.”
Fayetteville communication director Lindsley Smith was equally as excited.
“I was driving through Springdale past the Goodwill Store and Donation Center and thought ‘We have to get one of those in Fayetteville,'” said Smith. “Well, dreams do come true.”
Besides a donation center and a large selection of clothing, furniture, electronics and housewares, the store includes a career serviced center which offers job training and career counseling services.
According to a fact sheet provided by Goodwill representatives, the job center located in the Springdale Goodwill store serviced 871 people in the last fiscal year and helped place 367 people into employment in the area.
“Goodwill’s mission is creating jobs and providing job training and job search assistance to people,” Smith told a group of Goodwill officials and employees before the ribbon cutting. “Well, mission accomplished again – you just created 25 new jobs.”
The 20,000-square-foot facility in the Sixth Street Shoppes between Walmart and Lowe’s is located at 3105 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
“This location is great because so many people drive past every day,” said Susan Crossley, Goodwill’s communication director. “It’s close to the university and convenient to I-540.”
The opening of the Fayetteville store is part of an aggressive expansion plan in Northwest Arkansas. Goodwill opened a 25,000-square-foot store in Springdale in 2009 and a 12,000-square-foot store in Bentonville in 2010. It also has donation centers in Bella Vista and on Steamboat Drive in Fayetteville.
Goodwill has 24 locations statewide and employs approximately 450 people.