A Goodwill shopping center opened on July 1 in Española on Riverside Drive.
In addition to non-profit second-hand retail, the store will offer a variety of programs and services to the community, said Pamela Russon, Marketing Manager for Goodwill New Mexico.
“A lot of them focus on veterans and homeless vets in particular,” Russon said. “With particular emphasis on placement. “
There are also housing assistance programs to help low-income veterans, and employment assistance for the elderly, Russon said.
“The full opening absolutely exceeded our expectations, it was a fantastic performance from the citizens of Spain,” said Russon. “We couldn’t have been happier to see who we did. We have seen a constant flow of customers and we are very satisfied, lots of good feedback too.
Ramon Torrez, director of Goodwill’s employment program, said that over time he hoped to develop relationships with other nonprofits and businesses in the region to expand their coverage capabilities.
“The goal is to collaborate and develop relationships with organizations that can hire people and other ways that people can help find jobs,” Torrez said.
Unemployment is currently high, Torrez said, but that didn’t directly translate into a good market for employers. There were a lot of people who came through Torrez’s office seeking help advancing their careers rather than just finding a job, Torrez said.
“We’re seeing more of it than ever before,” Torrez said. “We’ll help you find transferable skills and create resumes that will be appealing to other types of employers. “
Buyers like Pauliana Alcanter are just happy to have a place closer to home to shop.
“I think it’s amazing and the prices are reasonable,” Alcanter said. “I used to go to the one in Santa Fe but this one is closer.”