Goodwill continues job training program during coronavirus pandemic

Investigations

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — In East Tennessee, Goodwill Industries, Knoxville serves 15 counties with 29 stores.

Like most nonprofit agencies during this crisis, Goodwill has temporarily shut down to slow the spread.

WATE found one vital service that enables Goodwill to help people – Goodwill’s Job Training and Career Counseling Service that continues to operate. Instead of traveling to one of their centers, the counseling is done online using Zoom.

From her home, Goodwill career counselor Ayoka Huff-Johnson is able to provide advice to Davis Rhea, who is out of work.

Goodwill Industries has shut its doors following CDC guidelines.

At Goodwill, donations are still being dropped off at the back door; also, online services are still operating. A skeleton crew is putting products together.

“So all of our job training programs are funded through the sale of donations within our stores. So with our stores closed we don’t have the revenue that we normally do to operate right now we have an e-commerce site where we are shipping some items just to get them out the door.”

Elizabeth Nother – Goodwill-Knoxville President

Eventually when the crisis ends, Goodwill industries will be back in business and lots of people will want to use their services.

“We can come back stronger and adapt. There is going to be many many people who need our help.”

Elizabeth Nother

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