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Massapequa Goodwill store offers jobs, discount shopping
The phones at the Goodwill Massapequa store were ringing Wednesday morning even before the giant scissors clamped down on the grand-opening ribbon that kept the dozens of shoppers at bay.
As they did, the crowd was welcomed into the gleaming white and blue, 8,600-square-foot store to peruse the goods.
Huntington resident William J. Forrester, Goodwill’s president and CEO, said the new store is the second in Nassau County and the fifth on Long Island. It is the first new store to open locally in at least 15 years.
“We’re very proud to be here,” he said. “It’s good to be, I like to say, home.”
Though the store was fully stocked with shoes and clothing, jewelry, electronics and home goods, Forrester stressed that the importance of the Goodwill store is not the goods, but the ability to put people to work.
The Massapequa store hired 18 employees, many from Massapequa and some who have disabilities.
Natasha Moron, 27, of Valley Stream, wearing her blue Goodwill shirt as she helped usher customers around the store on Wednesday, said she had been unemployed for two years before she was hired by Goodwill about two weeks ago.
She worked in the Baldwin store until she was moved to the Massapequa store last week as it prepared for opening.
“I went on an interview and they hired me right away,” she said, adding that she was excited to be working again.
Forrester said Goodwill worked with the Town of Hempstead and three different nonprofits that serve people with disabilities in order to hire for the store. He said, in addition to those with disabilities, Goodwill prides itself on serving the youth, the unemployed, veterans and recent immigrants.
He said employees at the Massapequa store will continue to look for local nonprofits to partner with in order find employees, and in line with its mission, the organization is planning a job fair in the spring for people whose employment status was affected by superstorm Sandy.
“What we do -- for the last 100 years -- is put people to work,” Forrester said. “Whether people come to the store to donate or to shop, that’s a revenue stream that supports the services we offer.”
Mary Gynizio, 73, of Massapequa, said she noticed the store before it was opened as she shopped elsewhere in Massapequa Plaza, the shopping center where it’s located.
“It’s excellent,” she said. “I love these stores.”
She said she couldn’t wait to get in the door, and in fact, she was one of the first customers to grab a shopping cart and head for the aisles.
“First come, first served,” she said as she got started.