Goodwill Announces Plans To Consolidate Services In A New Opportunity Campus In The Bonny Oaks Industrial Park

Friday, January 14, 2022

Goodwill Industries of the Greater Chattanooga Area has started construction on phase one of an Opportunity Campus at 6104 Preservation Dr., the former Life Touch photography lab in the Bonny Oaks Industrial Park. Officials say this enhanced space will allow Goodwill to serve participants and improve operational efficiency not possible in Goodwill’s current facility on Dodds Avenue.
 
“Our vision is a community where every person, regardless of ability, situation or background, can achieve their greatest potential,” said Jim Stailey, chief operating officer for Goodwill Industries of the Greater Chattanooga Area.  “People need stable, healthy lives to thrive at work.

With more space, we will be able to meet people where they are, whatever their needs may be. With like-minded community partners, our goal is to create a synergy that allows Goodwill to provide services along with other agencies that can meet needs outside of our scope of work.”  
 
The big dream, Mr. Stailey said. is to ultimately bring much of Goodwill’s social enterprise such as warehousing, administration, retail program and mission services under one umbrella on the eleven and a half acres the organization purchased in April of 2021.
 
To help make this move more feasible, Goodwill has partners who believe in the mission and potential of the nonprofit organization and plan to purchase the existing administration and workforce development building on Dodd’s Avenue.  A portion of the space will be leased back until Goodwill is ready to fully consolidate operations.
 
“While we have appreciated Goodwill in the past, as we have gotten to know the impressive team and understand the powerful new vision of this important organization, we couldn’t be more excited to partner with them,” said Todd Womack, a member of Good Will Partners, LLC an investment group purchasing the existing building.  “As Chattanooga continues to grow, the need for additional warehouse space is great and we look forward to those buildings continuing to be a good neighbor in the centrally located East Lake community and helping address the warehousing needs in our region.” 

Goodwill Industries of the Greater Chattanooga Area President and CEO Gena Weldon said she was inspired by a visit to the Goodwill Opportunity Campus in Charlotte several years ago.  There, community partners provide services for participants related to food and nutrition, healthcare, finance, education and legal services. 
 
“This is an exciting and key point in time for Goodwill,” said Ms. Weldon. “The landscape has changed, so we’re currently conducting a Community Needs Assessment that will inform mission services.  We want to be more strategic, collaborative and holistic in our approach to helping people reach their fullest potential. This new space puts us in the perfect position to be able to capitalize on opportunities that will benefit both the individuals and communities we serve.”
 
The greater Chattanooga area’s Goodwill, which will turn 100 next year, serves 23 counties in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia.  The organization is an autonomous 501(c) (3) nonprofit and a member agency of Goodwill Industries International. "While programs may vary depending on community needs, what each Goodwill territory has in common is they help people unlock their own potential by selling donated items to fund programs that provide equitable access to jobs, training and development," officials said.
 
Ms. Weldon said she continues to be inspired by a quote from Edgar Helms who founded the timeless Goodwill movement more than 120 years ago, “Be dissatisfied with your work until every person in your community has an opportunity to develop to their fullest usefulness and enjoy a maximum of abundant living.”


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