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Groundbreaking for new Goodwill store set for May

Store will employ 40, includes Job Connection facility

It’s a good spring for Goodwill in Sandy.

In mid-May, the nonprofit plans to break ground on its new retail and donation center on at the northwest corner of Highway 26 and Kate Schmitz Avenue, a site formerly owned by Olaf M. Oja Lumber Co. The center will total almost 25,000 square feet, with 11,000 square feet dedicated to retail floor space. POST PHOTO: ELIZABETH KELLAR - Sandys Goodwill is moving from a rented space on Meinig Avenue to a new, permanent facility on Highway 26 that is the site of the old Olaf M. Oja Lumber Co.

“We are very excited,” said Hortencia Hernandez, a supervisor at the Goodwill’s current rented Meinig Avenue location. “We are just grateful that we are having a new building.”

Sandy is part of the Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette service territory. GICW is opening three new stores in total this year: Sandy, West Salem and Oak Grove. The new Sandy center will boast a covered drive-through donation area and a Job Connection facility, which offers free job services.

The nearest Job Connection facility is in Gresham, which means Sandy Goodwill employees needs to collect applications from job seekers and forward them to that store for processing.

“That’s what we do for the applicants right now,” Hernandez said.

In the future, that can all be done on-site in Sandy, Hernandez explained. Through the previous six years, more than 900 free job services were provided to more than 230 Sandy-area residents.

The Meinig Avenue store opened in the summer of 1999. The new Highway 26 center is expected to begin operating by this fall.

Hernandez said the new facility also will allow Goodwill to better showcase its wares. In 2015, more than 34,500 Sandy-area residents donated over 2.1 million pounds of household goods to the Sandy store.

“We’re going to have a lot more room for our donations, to display our merchandise,” Hernandez said.

The current store employs 34, while the new center will have 40 people on staff.

To apply, visit meetgoodwill.org or visit the Meinig Avenue store.