GREENSBURG – An excited gathering of about 40 customers pushed through the doors of the new Goodwill store location, 480 E. Greensburg Commons Shopping Center, Tuesday morning.

Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana, a Greensburg retail staple, has operated at the 2200 N. Middle Drive location in Greensburg since June 2005.

After the end of the business day Saturday at their longtime location, employees were able to transfer merchandise, finish placing new stock and tend to final preparations for their reopening at their new location on Tuesday.

On hand to assist in the reopening, Vice President of Marketing for GICI Cindy Graham said, “I think it’s the thrill of the hunt that gets people in here. And who doesn’t like a good bargain? When they are helping a worthy cause by shopping, well that just makes it all the more exciting!”

GICI – with their mission statement of “Revenue generated from the sale of donated goods allows Goodwill to help people change their lives by increasing their independence and reaching their potential through education, health and employment” – is a not-for-profit 501 c(3) with a unique market share.

Accepting donations of almost any kind of salable pre-owned merchandise and reselling it at a nominal price, Goodwill has over 60 locations in Central and Southern Indiana and employs nearly 3,000 people.

Although the new location’s sales floor is only slightly larger in size than the old store, the production area is more than double the size, allowing employees to accept and process more merchandise quicker.

“We understand that getting the best products out on the sales floor, and doing it quickly, is part of what makes for a great Goodwill shopping experience,” said Eric Schlegel, Goodwill’s Vice President for Retail Operations. “After being part of this community for 13 years, it was time to make that experience even better for our shoppers, donors and employees, too.”

More cash registers will help reduce checkout waiting times, especially during peak shopping times. The number of employees at the store has also increased from 20 to 25.

More than half of Goodwill’s nearly 3,000 retail employees in Central and Southern Indiana face one or more significant barriers to employment, including disabilities, limited education and criminal history.

Employees have access to a variety of resources to help them increase their education and future employability. Goodwill also helps employees connect with higher-wage positions within the organization or with other employers when they’re ready for a transition.

GICI provides several services to people with barriers to employment and education. The organization includes retail services, commercial services, education and mission advancement.

GICI has more than 60 retail and 12 education locations. In addition, Goodwill serves more than 600 low income families through Nurse-Family Partnership Indiana and countless others through employment services.

“Each new store means new opportunities for Hoosiers who can benefit from our services,” Schlegel said. “Our shoppers and donors make it all possible. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for their support and the support of communities like Greensburg.”

Donations are accepted at the store, which is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext. 7011 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com

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