Goodwill career center helps community in need
by Matt Shinall
Sep 04, 2011 | 3457 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bonita Benliouglu, career center facilitator, helps job seeker Jonathan Chitwood in the recently opened Cartersville Goodwill Career Center, 929 Joe Frank Harris Parkway, directly across from Cartersville Medical Center. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Bonita Benliouglu, career center facilitator, helps job seeker Jonathan Chitwood in the recently opened Cartersville Goodwill Career Center, 929 Joe Frank Harris Parkway, directly across from Cartersville Medical Center. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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With uncertainty surrounding global economic conditions and unemployment remaining high, Goodwill of North Georgia has opened a career center inside their Cartersville store.

Opening last month, the Cartersville Goodwill Career Center is the eighth such facility in Goodwill's north Georgia region covering 45 counties.

"Our mission at Goodwill of North Georgia is to put people to work. A lot of people know us by our stores and donation centers, but what they don't know is that we use the sell of goods in our stores to help fund our career services program and career centers just like the one in Cartersville," said Elaine Armstrong, director of public relations. "Our goal is always to help north Georgians get good jobs and stay in those jobs. That's our main goal and that's what we're trying to do in Cartersville. It's an area we've been looking to move into for a long time and we're just pleased to do it right now."

Between the center's official opening on Aug. 8 and the grand opening ceremony held Aug. 25, the career center helped place 75 Bartow County residents in area jobs and look to do much more of the same in the near future.

"We have a goal to help place 700 residents into jobs this fiscal year [by June 30, 2012]," Armstrong said. "Job seekers can come in, they can use our computers -- we have computers with Internet access -- and there's resume software loaded on the computers. ... We also have fax machines and photo copiers and local job listings placed on bulletin boards updated regularly."

In addition to helping job seekers, the Goodwill Career Center offers services for employers. Staff at the center will post open positions, provide a private room for interviews and pre-screen applicants for specific jobs. The Cartersville facility also contains a room designed for job fairs.

Goodwill of North Georgia also will host seminars and workshops at the new location on various topics of interest for those on the job hunt, including how to dress for success, financial literacy, social media for job seekers and job clubs -- a networking environment where job seekers can share ideas and strategies.

"We try to have content that speaks to what the people are needing, but it's also an opportunity for people who are in Bartow County and the surrounding counties to come in and share their knowledge with the job seekers," Armstrong said. "So, if there are folks out there who have a program they would like to share, they can also come in and speak to us."