Goodwill industries is opening a job center in downtown Anchorage on Thursday. The nonprofit center aims to help those with barriers to employment overcome them.
At the corner of C and 6th in downtown Anchorage. Lauren Stuart points to a big white board on the wall near a row of computers.
“What we are looking at is our hot jobs board. This is where we will post our most recent and hopefully relevant jobs for our clients walking through the door.”
Stuart runs the job center. Besides the hot jobs board she says there is all kinds of equipment to help job seekers.
“We have six computers that are all connected to our main network with all of the web sites from workforce of Alaska, the municipality of Anchorage will be uploaded and easy to access,” she said. “We have fax machine, copier, printer, telephone and most importantly we have employment specialists and job coaches to help people really define what they need and how to get it.”
Most people have heard of Goodwill thrift stores. The thrift stores are usually used for on-the-job training and the money they make supports the job centers like the one going in downtown. Jim Martin is President of Goodwill Industries based in Eugene, Oregon. He says the job center is just the beginning for Anchorage and a thrift store is in the works.
“We think an opportunity to put a thrift store on the ground would be beneficial for not only individuals that are looking for a good deal on clothing or household items, but its also a great place to train individuals and provide them with initial skills to get them into the workforce.”
Martin says he’s not sure where the thrift store will be yet, but he’s hoping it will go in soon.
“There’s many areas that are flourishing in retail and we want to be in one of them. We’re optimistic that we’ll be in one of those areas. We’re still looking. We’re optimistic that we’ll have a store here in the next year or two.”
The center will also help clients find appropriate clothing for interviews, if needed. The job center is the first for Goodwill in Alaska.