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Goodwill breaks ground; plans to hire

Columbia County's first Goodwill thrift store, which recently broke ground in Scappoose, will employ 20 people when it opens in early 2012.

Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette, part of the international nonprofit charity organization, began construction of its 40th retail store on Oct. 3. When finished around March 2012, it will be a 19,500-square-foot facility with over 9,300 of retail floor space. Goodwill Industries officials say they chose to expand into Scappoose because of the large amount of donations flowing through the company's drop-off site in town behind the Hi-School Pharmacy. Last year, over 12,000 residents dropped off nearly 985,000 pounds of items. Goodwill spokeswoman Dale Emanuel said 2011 donations in Scappoose are up 4 percent from last year.

Around two-thirds of Goodwill employees have some barrier to employment, including disabilities. The company reports that 94 cents of every dollar earned at its stores goes toward training and employment of people with special needs. The Scappoose Goodwill will also offer a free job connection service.

Applications are currently being accepted for 20 positions. Apply online at www.meetgoodwill.org.