A year after it rescued the Long Island Works Coalition from closing, Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey is about to launch an expansion program on the Island, opening two centers - one in Nassau and the other in Suffolk - to help the unemployed get jobs.
Karen Means, Goodwill's senior vice president for youth and community services, said Goodwill has been looking for the past six or eight months for sites in the two counties to locate Goodwill stores that sell donated items. The stores will also include space for offices where the unemployed can get help writing resumes, use computers for job searches and speak with employment experts.
Astoria-based Goodwill Industries has kept the Long Island Works Coalition alive. The coalition was established by the Long Island Association a decade ago but faced collapse when funding sources dried up during the worst of the recession. Goodwill Industries said it will expand on the Long Island Works Coalition's career academies that were established two years ago. The academies help students understand the connection between school and work.
There are academies in nine school districts on the Island, and more are planned.
"We've been meeting with different folks to figure out how we can bring some of our employment services to Long Island," Means said. "We are at the point now where things are ready to happen."
Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey served about 165,000 people last year, Means said, and placed some 14,000 of them in jobs.
"The jobs ranged from entry level to a number of people who came to us making six-figure salaries and are now out of work," Means said.