Published Sunday, December 30, 2012
By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
The Coweta County Planning Department has approved Goodwill’s plans to upgrade the exterior of the former Save Rite building at Thomas Crossroads, paving the way for the opening of Goodwill’s Newnan East retail store and career center.
Because the vacant, former grocery store at the Highway 34/154 intersection is in the county’s Quality Development Corridor district, certain upgrades are required.
In 2010, after a prospective developer of the property backed out because of onerous QDC rules, the county adopted a new ordinance to make the redevelopment of vacant buildings easier. The new ordinance means that older buildings don’t have to be completely brought up to the standards of the QDC.
Goodwill will be adding brick to the front and sides of the building, and painting the back to match. The organization won’t have to change the building silhouette or roof line and bring the parking lot up to current standards with landscaped islands. All those changes were required before the new ordinance was passed.
The new store is currently scheduled to open on June 20, with the career center to open on Aug. 5, said Yolanda Stephen, communications manager for Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers.
The career center at Newnan East will be a “bilingual, bicultural” career center, according to Goodwill officials.
When the new store was originally announced in September, there were plans to build a training center as well as the career center.
However, that is up in the air at the moment. “We are looking to see if we are going to open one in Newnan... we’re just not sure right now,” said Stephen.
With the retail store and career center, the Newnan East store will create approximately 25 new jobs, Stephen said.
Anyone wishing to apply for one of those jobs can visit www.gwisr.org .
The career center will be similar to the one located at the main Newnan location in Shenandoah Plaza on Bullsboro Drive.
Career centers provide free access to computers, printers, copiers, fax machines, scanners, and telephones for job seekers.
Career center employees can provide help with questions and issues, as well as limited assistance with resumés, cover letters and the like.
The center also offers several classes, including resumé writing classes and mock interview classes.
All services are free, and are funded by the sales from the retail store.
The center also provides meeting space and hosts several meetings, and GED classes offered through West Georgia Technical College meet there on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Representatives from Right from the Start Medicaid are there every Monday, and representatives from WellCare are there once a month to get people signed up, said Career Center Manager Stephanie Glenn.
Glenn is hoping to offer even more of those types of services.
“We are trying to build up our resources here,” she said.
They will also soon begin offering the My Free Tax service, which is an on-line, free tax preparation service.
The center also partners with the local Vocational Rehabilitation agency, as well as the Georgia Department of Labor’s Career Center and the local Workforce Investment Board. And there’s a table full of information about other resources.
The Newnan Goodwill Career Center is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays.
“I really enjoy it. It’s a very good resource,” said job seeker Ralph Ellis. “If I didn’t have this, I’d be sunk. I have no computer access,” Ellis said.
“It’s a nice place,” said fellow job seeker Jovan Brown. “It’s very helpful.”
For more information, visit the center at 228 Bullsboro Drive, Newnan, or call 678-423-3562.