A Letter to the Community from
Shae Johns, President/CEO
Southern Oregon Goodwill Industries
For the first time since March 23, Southern Oregon Goodwill is open to shoppers, donors, and job seekers — operating under an abundance of caution and diligence with new safety procedures. On Monday, May 11, six retail stores will reopen in our region: Ashland, Central Point, Klamath Falls, Medford, Roseburg, and White City. Our Grants Pass store at 346 Beacon Drive will reopen on Friday, May 15. Store hours are 10 am to 7 pm daily. We are hopeful to open our As-Is Outlets next week with new practices in place for customers and staff.
The unprecedented unemployment related to the COVID-19 pandemic puts a focus on the community’s need for our workforce development services. By opening our stores and donation sites, we can generate funding for our vital mission to enable employment. This week two of our Job Connections reopen for in-person access to computers and resources to find work locally. Ashland Job Connection, at 310 Oak Street, opens to a limited schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 to 4. The Medford location, 11 W. Jackson reopens, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 4. The Klamath Falls location opens on Monday, May 18 to run a new schedule of Monday through Thursdays also from 10 am to 4 pm.
Classes for computer skills, GED exam prep, and the National Retail Federation certifications will continue to be offered virtually led by Goodwill Career Counselors (www.sogoodwill.org/job-connections-online). Our Siskiyou County office in Yreka is operating limited hours to run a community food pantry service. Plans are underway to reopen employment and training services in Douglas, Josephine, and Klamath counties.
In the last month, a small, dedicated team updated all SO Goodwill locations with health safety measures such as sneeze guards, deep cleaning, and established social distancing procedures in anticipation of an eventual re-opening. Visitors to our stores and Job Connections can expect the following changes to their Goodwill experience:
- Face covering, such as an n95 mask or kerchief, required for staff and visitors age 2 years and older
- Limits on the number of guests allowed in per building occupancy to ensure optimal social distancing per person
- Social distancing markers and lane restrictions throughout our buildings
- Fitting rooms and restrooms are closed to the public
- Our staff members are wearing gloves and cleaning highly touched surfaces including door handles, carts, register areas, etc.
- Sneeze guards are placed between staff and customers
- Contactless procedures practiced at the registers
- All donations and returns will be quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours before they’re processed and put on the sales floor
Our donations locations are also using contactless operations with staff wearing PPE. Donors are asked to unload and sort their items into categorized bins. Donors can receive an IRS acceptable receipt to their email inbox using our new paperless receipt option. Donations are quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours before going into a store production area to limit potential exposure.
Because of the financial setbacks of the pandemic and other factors, there are several changes to our business operations. At this time, our As-Is outlets and Good & Will boutique are not part of the immediate reopening plan. We are unable to reopen the Sutherlin store and the As-Is outlet in Grants Pass. Our main donations yard has permanently moved from Fir Street to 2077 Lars Way in W. Medford to operate from 10 am to 5:30 pm daily. We will no longer accept donations behind our main office at 11 W. Jackson Street. The donations trailers at North Fred Meyers in Medford and at Williams Hwy Safeway in Grants Pass also are no longer in operation. By closing, we keep our strained and limited resources focused on funding our mission to provide employment-based training to people with challenging life circumstances in Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, and Siskiyou counties. All staff impacted were offered opportunities to join teams at other SO Goodwill locations.
Ultimately, it is the call of our mission to enable employment and the immense need for employment services that drive our decision to reopen this week. Doing so gives our employees the ability to earn wages and resume benefits. As a large employer in the area, we are generating income for people and payroll taxes for local governments. By reopening, we are welcoming back approximately 300 employees displaced by the nearly two-month closure.
Most important is to meet the crucial needs of the communities for whom we exist. With more than 53 years of addressing job skills training for underserved populations of people on the margins of economic security, Goodwill is poised to be the resource for people now navigating the unfamiliar territory of unemployment. Our career counselors are ready to guide those who will shift, or reinvent, their career paths through gaining technical skills for the opportunities in the future marketplace. Goodwill stores are the funding mechanism for the human services we provide.
Thank you for your support, understanding, and compliance with the many new safety procedures we are adopting to ensure you can shop, donate, and learn as safely as possible.
As promised, Good. Will. Come.
Status of Southern Oregon Goodwill operations as of May 14:
- Goodwill stores are NOW OPEN to shoppers weekdays from 10 am to 7 pm (with the exception of the Grants Pass retail store, Sutherlin retail store, As-Is outlets, and Good & Will boutique).
- Grants Pass retail store on Beacon Drive to reopen on Friday, May 15.
- Donations sites collocated with stores are open the same hours as the store.
- The donation yard at 2077 Lars Way in Medford is open daily from 10 am to 5:30 pm. Attended Donation trailers are no longer open in Medford or Grants Pass.
- Job Connections in Ashland (Mon, Wed, Fri) and Medford (Tues & Thurs) reopen 10 am to 4 pm weekdays. Klamath Falls Job Connection to open on Monday, May 18 (Mon – Thurs, 10 -4).
- Virtual services with Goodwill Career Counselors for job search or skills classes are available weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm by calling 541-227-9882 or visiting www.sogoodwill.org/job-connections-online
- Employment and Training offices remain closed in Douglas, Josephine, and Klamath counties with limited services for a community food pantry in Siskiyou county until future notice.
- Goodwill’s regional headquarters at 11 W. Jackson Street in Medford is open weekdays from 10 am to 4 pm.