It has been roughly two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and we (like everyone else) are still feeling the effects. However, this has not deterred us away from achieving our mission to put people to work. With 2022 coming to a close, we would like to take this time to reflect on some of our most notable highlights of the year that encapsulate all we’re doing here to benefit our local North Georgia neighbors.

  1. Hosted First Annual Battle of the Biz! Gala

The Battle of the Biz! is an event where GoodBiz! graduates get the opportunity to pitch their business and business plans to a panel with the hopes of receiving funding for their small business. After the success of our Battle of the Biz! pitch competition in November 2021, we decided to take it step further by not only having a pitch competition but also host a gala to announce the winner. Goodwill of North Georgia board member and Atlanta mayor, Andre Dickens, presided over the event which included a live band, remarks from The Weather Channel’s Jen Carfagno, and much more.  Dejú Green was announced as the competition winner and we were able to raise over $290,000 to help more entrepreneurs like her.

2. Launched a New Advertising Campaign

We are always looking for fresh and new ways to spread the mission of Goodwill of North Georgia throughout the local region. With that said, we decided to refresh our advertising material and launch the “Go Big on Good” campaign which highlights how the many things you all do as shoppers and donors help achieve the ultimate goal of putting people to work. Every item you see throughout this campaign to create this imagery was sourced from a local Goodwill.

3. Refreshed 5 Locations

With more and more people valuing the luxury of being able to shop from home, the in-store experience has become more important than ever. We recognized this and decided to start refreshing our stores. We targeted Covington, Fayetteville, Hickory Flat, Cobb Parkway, and Douglasville in the first phase of this effort. Team members in refreshed locations enjoy updated breakrooms, more efficient processing areas and an overall facelift to their working environment. Shoppers and donors get a revamped experience like updated layouts, new wall graphics, fresh paint and flooring, and energy-saving LED lighting to brighten up the store. In addition, these stores added or expanded their new-goods sections housing items such as socks, snacks, LED lightbulbs, dish towels, pet supplies and more.

4. Opened Metropolitan Parkway Store and Career Center

On April 21, 2022, after two years of trials and tribulations, we finally opened the doors to our Metropolitan Parkway Career Center. Located within the city of Atlanta at 2160 Metropolitan Parkway, this location has provided free access to job search resources for job seekers on the south side of the city, an area that is not typically a primary location for developers. The high demand for such resources was made clear when job seekers lined up outside the Career Center eager for the doors to open. This is the first time we not only had shoppers lined up to shop, but also job seekers lined up to access resources.

5. Ranked #1 Among All Goodwills Nationwide

Over the last year, we were able to connect more than 16,000 North Georgians to work, earning us the title of the number one Goodwill in the country when it comes to connecting job seekers to employment. This means that Goodwill of North Georgia, for three years in a row, has put more people to work than any other Goodwill in the nation!

Goodwill has served so many job seekers that 1 out of every 6 working-age Georgians got help from one of our career centers last year to secure a new job. What is even more, is that Goodwill has connected over 79% of our jobseekers with living wage jobs, lifting 36,278 families out of poverty over the last five years.