Tacoma Goodwill unveils plans for new job headquarters

One new building.
Three times the service.
Five times the space.
That was the message yesterday at Tacoma Goodwill as the organization’s CEO, Terry A. Hayes, and Gov. Chris Gregoire unveiled plans for a new, $20 million Workforce Development Center that will assist in a goal to triple services in Pierce County.
“We’ve made our current building work for more than 40 years,” said Hayes, who spoke to a standing-room crowd at Goodwill headquarters in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood. “The challenge now is to significantly expand our ability to provide job training services to the growing number of people with disabilities and disadvantages who need our help going to work.”
Hayes cited a 2005 University of Washington Tacoma Milgard School of Business study that showed by 2010, 70,000 people between the ages of 18 and 64 years old would need Goodwill’s job-placement and training services in Tacoma and Pierce County.
“That [study was] huge, and very motivating to us,” said Hayes.
Construction of the new building will begin next year. When completed in fall 2009, the 63,000 square foot, four story LEED Silver-certified building will house Goodwill’s Youth Career Development Center, five times the classroom space, and expanded administrative offices. It will also provide space to 10 career-service agencies based in Tacoma and Pierce County. The organization hopes to serve 3,000 youth — a jump from the 1,000 youth Goodwill currently serves — through its new center.
According to Hayes, Goodwill has raised approximately half of the money needed to complete construction. Donations have come from the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ben B. Cheney Foundation. Fund-raising will continue through next year.
Recently, the project received $1.5 million from the governor’s capital budget. “It’s money well spent,” said Gov. Gregoire, who visited the organization yesterday in between stops in Southwest Washington, which is recovering from rainstorms and subsequent flooding.
“[This is a] significant investment for the benefit of the whole community,” said Goodwill Board President Jim Walton.
Tacoma Goodwill has been at its current location since 1965. So far this year, Goodwill has served 3,947 clients, and found jobs for 1,011, while operating 20 stores.