Goodwill finds work for 500-plus in Putnam County in 2015

Goodwill's Cookeville store is located at 575 S. Jefferson Ave.
Goodwill’s Cookeville store is located at 575 S. Jefferson Ave.

COOKEVILLE – Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee helped more than 500 people in Putnam County find jobs in 2015, according to report issued by the non-profit this week.

Overall, Goodwill placed 15,412 people in jobs in Middle and West Tennessee last year, a 61-percent increase year-over-year. At the Goodwill Career Solutions center in Cookeville, 575 S. Jefferson Ave., 1,506 people received assistance and 547 of those landed new positions.

That’s a nearly 30-percentage increase locally from 2014, when 421 garnered employment. In 2013, that number was 208.

“We are extremely proud of the results our Goodwill Career Solutions centers have achieved for the people and communities we serve,” Betty Johnson, vice president and chief people officer of the local Goodwill, said in a release. “It’s exciting to be changing so many lives through the power of work. Our generous donors and shoppers make it possible.”

Goodwill provides free training, education and employment opportunities across 48 middle and west Tennessee counties.

Goodwill’s territory-wide goals for last year were to assist 30,000 people and place 11,000 in jobs. Those benchmarks were met in November – the agency assisted 36,081 people in 2015, a 28-percent increase. The organization’s new goal focuses on 2020, by which it hopes to be placing 20,000 people into jobs annually.

A recent study by the Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University forecast that by 2024, Goodwill will place more than 21,500 into jobs each year.

Goodwill sells donated clothing and household goods in its stores to fund its mission. The agency employs more than 2,100 people, but nearly 92 percent of Goodwill’s clients who find jobs are placed with other employers. More than 3,000 employers actively hire through Goodwill.

In Putnam County, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee annually generates wages and salaries of more than $7 million and business revenues of about $11 million, per a Business and Economic Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University report issued in October. The Cookeville store is the Upper Cumberland location.


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