by Max Brantley
Goodwill has bought a former factory on Scott Hamilton Drive for a new headquarters.
Arkansas Business has full details on the deal, including an idea of how the space — more than 10 times bigger than its existing headquarters on Seventh Street — will be used. It's buying the plant from investors including Rick Ferguson and former lawyer Gene Cauley for $2.47 million. The structure began life, I'm pretty sure, as a Teletype manufacturing facility, then passed into AT&T's hands. Celestica was the most recent occupant.
Gov. Mike Beebe was on hand for the announcement today and lauded the jobs Goodwill had created.
LM Wind Power temporarily rented space in the building while its facility at the port was being completed, an AEDC spokesmans aid. It continues to lease some adjacent space that wasn't part of the Goodwill purchase for manufacturing, he said.
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas today announced an expansion of its donation operations and job training program in Little Rock. Goodwill is expanding from the current 1110 W. 7th St. downtown location into a 576,000-square-foot facility at 7400 Scott Hamilton Drive in southwest Little Rock.
“Known for providing job training, Goodwill is increasingly providing the actual jobs as well,” Governor Mike Beebe said. “This expansion will broaden the company’s efforts to help Arkansans, and will also help our economy.”
Goodwill created over 250 jobs in the past three years, and approximately 50 positions will be created to support the continued growth of the organization through this expansion. Additionally, 50 more positions will be created with new stores opening in 2012. Goodwill operates 28 locations across Arkansas.
“This year, Goodwill Industries celebrates its 85th year in Arkansas, and this transformational expansion will ensure our ability to serve Arkansas for the next 85 years and beyond,” said President and CEO of Goodwill, Brian Itzkowitz. “We are growing and actively responding to the needs of Arkansans who need assistance overcoming barriers to gain independence.”
In the fiscal year ending June 30, Goodwill assisted over 5,000 people and placed 850 people in quality employment. This was accomplished through Goodwill’s 12 career service centers, which offer free job training and placement services.
“Goodwill’s mission is to help individuals reach their full potential through education, job training, career counseling and placement services,” stated Itzkowitz. “Our mission couldn’t be realized without the generosity and support of Arkansans. When you donate and shop at Goodwill, you can truly change a life.”
Formerly the home of Celestica, the location will now be named the Goodwill Resource Center. The new 576,000-square-foot building will feature a clearance center, classrooms and an expanded e-waste recycling center. Since 2009, Goodwill has recycled almost one million pounds of e-waste, preventing tons of toxic waste from plaguing the environment.